It’s November of 2010, and that means, yes, we voted this week. We cast our ballots with decisions on governors, senators, house seats and the most talked about voter initiative: Prop 19. I understand why it didn’t pass. It was our first shot, and there are plenty of older and more conservative voters in our state who have yet to understand marijuana and all of its benefits.

[media-credit name=”PHOTO COURTEST OF” align=”alignleft” width=”208″][/media-credit]However, I can’t understand why some of my friends didn’t vote in support of it.  If you are a young person who voted “No” on Prop 19, I have one question: Why the hell not? You were given an opportunity to vote a monumental proposition into law and you blew it. Of course there will be some demographics that aren’t going to vote for it. I mean, we still have individuals in this country who think people once rode on dinosaurs, but those of us with saner thinking should have spoken louder! It was our responsibility to show the rest of the country what we want!

Now I want to be clear, there are a lot of facts and concerns related to the legalization of marijuana that deserve full attention and discussion. I could sit here for days arguing the pros and cons of the bill and its details. However, my fight isn’t with the specific logistics. Instead, I have a problem with the people who should have voted for the bill, but didn’t. I’m talking to you, stoners. I’m talking to those of you who enjoy your “counter-culture” of smoking weed and listening to Rebelution.  I’m talking to all those people who participate in something that is currently illegal and who failed to vote to make it legal.

There was a young man directly in front of me in line to vote two days ago who caught my attention. I really hope you’re reading this, my good sir, because you are the reason I wrote this article. He first recounted a story about not making it to class (I was hazy on the details, but I was under the impression that he took the day off to take edibles.) He seemed to be having trouble understanding that there was no ID required to vote, even though I thought my explanation was clear. (For those of you that are wondering, identification is only required in the state of California for first-time voters who registered by mail and do not have their identification verified.) And lest we forget, he was wearing basketball shorts, a hoodie and a black hat that read “Blaze” in Rastafarian colors. As we moved closer to the door, he loudly proclaimed “Fuck No on Prop 19.”  I had to clench my teeth to prevent myself from telling him off. He was not the first of many people my age to fail to legalize a substance they themselves indulge in.

Why, I ask, would you not vote for it if you or your friends smoke weed in your spare time? Some say, “The prop could be written better. It didn’t really address certain things.” Oh? I’m sorry. Did you want perfection right off the bat? If yes, then please go pack your bags and buy a one-way express ticket to Utopia because that just won’t happen here. Marijuana will not just become a legal substance overnight! It’s not as if one day you’re picking up an eighth from your neighbor and the next day there will be Marlboro Green Editions behind the counter at Albertsons. You have to slow down and be patient. First, make it legal, then come the details. Others in Isla Vista have been caught complaining about their “business” going to shit (you know who you are.) That just makes me mad. All the proposition would have done is made it impossible for the police to arrest them!  Why wouldn’t you support a proposition that will remove a felony charge from your activities?

Whether you’re a dealer or your friends smoke, we all have opinions about this reasonably harmless little green plant.  It has a long history in the U.S. of A. (it is said that even the Founding Fathers had marijuana plants on their farms), and, in California, weed is almost a $14 billion industry.  Prop 19 was our first attempt at legalization, and we did pretty well, all things considered. For those of you who didn’t vote for Prop 19, let me leave you with this: It is no longer a question of if marijuana will be legalized, it’s a question of when.