Nevada Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Nevada Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Among the things we will vote on, on November 8, besides the presidential election, is a proposition on the Nevada ballot known as Question 2. Question 2 is an indirect initiated state statute that makes a limited amount of recreational marijuana use legal for adults in Nevada. Passage of question 2 will allow those 21 and older in Nevada, to possess, consume, and cultivate a limited amount of marijuana for recreational purposes, much like Colorado and Washington did in 2012.


Effects of the new law

If the question passes, adults over 21 will be able to purchase, possess and consume up to an ounce of marijuana at any given time, or up to one eighth of an ounce of concentrated marijuana, which is the separated resin product of the marijuana plant. Individuals would be able to grow up to 6 marijuana plants for personal use.

The law would also allow for marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales establishments. The state would license, monitor and tax the cultivation establishments a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of product, revenues, which would go the Department of Taxation and local governments to cover costs of administering the new law, with remaining revenue going to the State Distributive School Account.

Passage of Question 2, will put the law into effect in Nevada, as of January 1, 2017. It appears on the ballot in Nevada because it was submitted as a ballot initiative, which required its sponsors to submit at least 101,666 signatures by November 11, 2014. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted nearly 200,000 signatures by the deadline. The state legislature considered the measure in 2015, but took no action, which caused the indirect initiative to be placed on the 2016 ballot.

Arizona, California, Maine and Massachusetts will be voting on recreational marijuana provisions during the 2016 election cycle. Several other states will have medical marijuana questions on their ballots this year. Currently four states, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington allow legal recreational marijuana use.

Arguments for and against

The Secretary of State’s office has published voters’ guides, which summarize the ballot initiatives on this year’s ballot. As part of this report, interested parties publish arguments for and against any question.

Proponents of the new law, submitted by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, argue that the prohibition of marijuana has created an underground criminal enterprise which currently distributes marijuana, and has focused law enforcement on less important marijuana interdiction, instead of more serious violent crimes.

They continue that state regulation will test marijuana to ensure safety and properly label the product, enclose it in childproof containers, and check ID’s of purchasers to ensure it is not sold to minors. Additionally, it will create revenue for the state, which will cover the costs of administering the new law with surpluses going to the state public school fund.

Opponents of the law, submitted by the Nevadans for Responsible Drug Policy, argue that the law will allow marijuana shops in neighborhoods, and will sell pot laced candies which are attractive to children. They contend that the black market for marijuana will not go away, and will send a message to Nevada children and teens that drug use is acceptable.

They continue that teenagers who regularly use marijuana have lowered IQ’s and higher dropout rates, and do not do as well on college entrance exams. They also argue that this law gives special treatment to corporate interests and select alcohol companies who will be involved in recreational marijuana sales.

At this point, polls show this measure is too close to call. Voting YES on Question 2 is for passage of this initiative, voting NO will be for rejection of the new law.

The Defenders can represent you if you are charged with marijuana related crimes

Regardless of where you stand on Question 2, if you have been charged with drug related crimes, our attorneys can provide a defense for you. The penalties for possession or distribution of marijuana are severe. We know the laws and have experience in providing strong defense that will stand up against the prosecution. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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