Five propositions fail: Recreational marijuana now legal

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Of the 17 propositions on Tuesday’s ballot, the state’s voters approved all but five. The defeated propositions were: 53, the requirement to gain voter approval before the state can issue or sell any revenue bonds for certain projects, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion; 60, the adult film condom requirement; 61, which would have prohibited the state from buying any prescription drug from a drug manufacturer at a price higher than the lowest price paid for the drug by United States Department of Veterans Affairs; 62, the repeal of the death penalty; and 65, shifting the tax revenue on plastic bags to environmental projects.

Riverside County voters generally made the same decisions with a few exceptions. In the county, voters supported propositions 53 and 60. And they opposed Proposition 59, the multilingual education change, and Proposition 67, opposing the ban of plastic bags.

Proposition 67, which approved the legislature’s intent to ban plastic bags, passed with 52 percent of state voters’ support. However, in Riverside County, nearly three out of every five voters opposed the ban.

Controversial Proposition 64, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana, was passed easily with 56 percent of the vote. More than 5.4 million votes were cast in favor of it and 4.2 million opposed it. In Riverside County, the vote was closer, 52 percent for and 48 percent against. It will be at least January 2018 before licenses can be issued to sell marijuana. Today, it is legal to possess an ounce and to grow at it at home, but it can’t be visible from the street.

Three propositions received more than 6 million “Yes” votes. Highly popular were Proposition 52, the Medi-Cal hospital fees, Proposition 56, raising the cigarette tax, and Proposition 58, English proficiency and multilingual education. The latter collected the most “Yes” votes of all 17 propositions, 6.8 million.

Differences of views between Riverside County and state voters were apparent in the results for Proposition 62, the repeal of the death penalty, which received much greater support throughout the state than in the county. Also county voters were less enthusiastic towards Proposition 63, which requires a background check and Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition, than the rest of the state. In Riverside County, only 54 percent of voters were in favor of tighter restrictions, but statewide 63 percent favored them.

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