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Pot Legalization Initiative Has Same Number as One From 1972

A groovy 1972 pot legalization poster
A groovy 1972 pot legalization poster
Bolerium Books

It's an important day for the manufacturers of political buttons and bumper stickers, as the Secretary of State's office has given numbers to each of the November ballot measures.

The most buzzed-about initiative will be Proposition 19, the measure to legalize marijuana. If that sounds familiar, rest assured you are not having a flashback.

In 1972, there was another measure on the ballot to legalize pot in California.

It was also called Proposition 19.

Coincidence? Or some sort of cosmic congruence?


The Secretary of State's office says it was a coincidence. But you can't put anything past the people who named the state's medical marijuana bill SB 420.

Anyway, if you still have your Prop. 19 buttons and posters, you won't have to go buy new ones.

As you can probably tell, Prop. 19 failed in 1972. In fact, it wasn't close. According to Ballotpedia, the measure went down by a vote of 66.5% to 33.5%. We'll see in November how much attitudes have changed in the intervening 38 years.

While we're at it, here's another weird one, at least from a strictly numerological standpoint. Business groups are pushing an initiative to undo AB 32, the state anti-global warming law. The proposition is numbered 23 -- or 32 reversed. Whoa.

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