After big wins in 2012, pro-marijuana groups set their sights on other states
California and Oregon could be the next states to legalize marijuana, as pro-pot groups that spent decades campaigning seek to capitalize on 2012 victories in Washington and Colorado.
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In 1996, California became the first state to allow medical marijuana by a popular vote, and Oregon andWashington state were among the second wave in 1998. But Oregon rejected a marijuana legalization ballot measure in November, while California voters did the same in 1972 and 2010.Skip to next paragraph
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The 2010 ballot measure in California failed to sway voters because it would have left regulation to a hodgepodge of local governments, instead of a uniform set of state rules, said Dale Gieringer, director of the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
This month, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom became one of America's top state officials to call for reform of marijuana laws when he told the New York Times that laws against the drug "just don't make sense anymore."
Activists say they see demographic changes as giving them an advantage.
"We know that the younger generation is more supportive and the opposition really comes from the older generation. And as time goes on there's more of the younger generation and less of the older generation," Gieringer said.