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Will California Legalize Pot?

With only a few months to go until the election, the campaign to legalize marijuana in California has only $50,000 in cash on hand. The question now is: How can it win?

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The campaign needs to hammer in several points to stand a chance. Its messaging has to emphasize how marijuana prohibition has been a costly, senseless disaster. The drug war has strengthened and enriched violent cartels while law enforcement resources have been wasted on arresting non-violent marijuana users, ruining lives and siphoning from key public services that are sorely needed by all Californians. Prop. 19 must also make clear that taxing and regulating pot will make it harder for minors to access pot -- and that medical marijuana has proven that increased regulation decreases use by kids. Finally, the campaign ought to appeal to voters by reminding them that this initiative is their opportunity to take a stand where politicians have been reluctant to act. In other words, the time is now.

If the campaign is successful, Californians will wake up on Nov. 3 to find that marijuana prohibition is finally over. If it isn't, at least we will be a step closer to that possibility.

Daniela Perdomo is a staff writer and editor at AlterNet. Follow Daniela on Twitter . Write her at danielaalternet [at] gmail [dot] com.