There were strange bedfellows in California's failed shot at legalizing marijuana in November, and we're not talking about the endorsements of African American cops and the powerful Service Employees International Union.
No, interestingly, rich folks in Los Angeles got behind legitimizing weed, too. In fact, if the vote were up to them, it might have passed.
This according to a just-released analysis from Loyola Marymount University.
A statement from the university called Prop. 19 a “a class struggle that pitted California's affluent and educated voters against its lower-income and less educated ones.”
Sixty-seven percent of voters from households with incomes of $150,000 and up endorsed the initiative, which would have allowed people 21-and-older hold up to an ounce of weed — no questions asked, no doctor's note required.
This makes some sense. After spending all that cash sending their Crossroads and Choate graduates to Brown (or Standford if they're lucky) why would rich folks want to spend any more bailing them out?
Overall, 56 percent of Angelenos voted for Prop. 19.
But only 48 percent of people in households with incomes of $40,000 or less voted in favor of the measure.
The study was conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.
What gives? Do rich people really like drugs that much? Are they high? Here's what LMU political science professor and longtime city watcher Fernando Guerra had to say:
“It seems that working-class Angelenos see marijuana the same way they see other drugs: as a negative influence on their communities. Affluent voters were more likely to view the drug on an individual level, as a recreational choice.”
Ah, you mean rich people don't have to stand by as taggers smoke weed in the alley and the local “dispensary” rocks ounces with shady characters coming and going all day? Huh. We guess that would make a difference in your opinion.
Education played a role too.
About 58 percent of the college-educated said yes to weed. Forty percent of those who went to high school (or not) gave 19 the thumbs up.
So there you have it, legalizationists. You have your work cut out for you in 2012: Job one will be convince people in barrios how good cannabis is for their community.