A guy really hates to say anything nice about California, but since I'm about to praise Montana and Arizona again, it would be gauche to decline a nod of approval to the Golden Bear.
Proposition 19 could pass, sending California before the federal long robes, just like Montana with its Firearms Freedom Act and Arizona, where citizens decided to take it on themselves to repair the massive federal immigration cockup.
The strictly legal points in all three cases seem to center on the Constitution's supremacy clause. Morally they test our cherished cultural myth that laws require the consent of the governed, not to mention the abuse to which malum prohibitum statutes are prone.
Malum prohibitum? Wrong because there's a law against it, period. In 1961, for instance, Sammy Davis Junior married May Britt. If he had done so in Virginia both he and Britt would have been felons, guilty of miscegenation.
Malum in se laws are what we're after. They prohibit acts which are evil in and of themselves, like stealing a Twinkie from your buddy's lunch box or auctioning off a senate seat in Illinois.
In one way or another, the Arizona, California, and Montana laws, reflect a popular revolt against the mala prohibita which is too often a simple lust for federal political control of the citizenry or of local jurisdictions.
I don't know how any of the three issues will be resolved, of course. I suspect the firearms freedom acts will fail and that the courts will gut Arizona's immigration control drive. The California initiative to legalize personal marijuana use for adults is said to be a dead heat this week. If it happens to pass, I'd give it at least a slim chance of judicial approval.
But the results are less interesting that the grass-roots pressure. Libertarian thought -- even among those who couldn't define "libertarian" -- seems to have come a long way.
EDIT: An Ipso poll just reported has Proposition 19 down, 53-43.