Nate Silver weighs in on the 54-46 defeat of Prop 19 in California:
Tyler Cowen, a libertarian-leaning economist at George Mason University who writes columns for The Times, commented on his blog that “we’re seeing the high water mark for pot, as aging demographics do not favor the idea,” and that he couldn’t see marijuana “climbing the legalization hill, if it can’t make it through current-day California.”
The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle expressed similar sentiments, noting that parenthood — and the changes in attitude it can cause toward drug legalization — was a significant barrier to such initiatives passing.
You've heard this story before: Marijuana is never going to be legal—the old people don't like it, parents are freaked out. But, as Silver continues, old people are dying, young people like pot, and the pro-pot young people are becoming pro-pot old people:
This, then, is the good news for supporters of marijuana legalization. Even if nobody was persuaded about legalization one way or another, measures like Proposition 19 would stand to gain ground as pre-Baby Boom adults were replaced in the electorate by Millennials.
Pot wasn't going to be legal in 1970 because, the story went, polls showed it held a pathetic 12 percent support; then a four-decade trend shows nearly half of all Americans supported legalize pot by last fall. And of course, pot laws weren't going to change in the mid-1990s, because, we were told, medical marijuana was a "pipe dream." Now voters have approved it in a dozen states. Initiative 75 was too liberal even for liberal Seattle in 2003, we were told, before voters passed it by a 15-point margin (and more than a dozen cities passed carbon-copy initiatives). As for California, the legislature wasn't going to dare decriminalize marijuana earlier this year—until they did it a few months ago under the pressure of Prop 19 on the ballot.
So, yeah, legal pot: never gonna happen, totally impossible, nothing ever changes, and so forth.