Pubdate: Mon,  4 Jun 2001
Source: Nevada Appeal (NV)
Copyright: 2001 Nevada Appeal
Author: Geoff Dornan
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Question 9 (NV))


Legislation legalizing medical marijuana and reducing penalties for use
or possession of small quantities of the drug will be on its way to the
governor's office later today. 

The Senate joined the Assembly in approving AB453 Sunday. The bill
passed on a 15-6 vote with Senators Bill Raggio, Maurice Washington, Ann
O'Connell, Bill O'Donnell, Lawrence Jacobsen and Jon Porter opposed. 

Senators did amend the bill, but the changes are supported by sponsor
Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas. 

Nearly two thirds of Nevada voters in the last two general elections
supported legalizing medical uses of marijuana for those with terminal
or chronically disabling diseases such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. 

The bill also lowers Nevada's felony penalty for simple possession and
use of marijuana to a misdemeanor for the first two convictions and
gross misdemeanor for the third. 

Senators added a provision making the it a felony for four or more

Giunchigliani said she agreed that anyone with that many convictions
deserves the felony conviction. 

The Senate also put a preamble on the bill clearly laying out the
reasons for its passage and Nevada's desire for the federal government
to authorize a full study of the medical value of marijuana. It also
orders the state Agriculture Department to "aggressively" pursue federal
permission to create a seed bank to provide those with medical marijuana
registry cards with seeds to grow. 

The Agriculture Department, with the help of Department of Motor
Vehicles, would issue registry cards to those with medical conditions
and the recommendation of their physician that they use marijuana. The
list would permit them to keep an ounce of pot, grow up to four plants
and have up to three seedlings for personal use. 

It would also protect their "caregiver" from arrest on state charges. 

But Human Resources and Facilities Chairman Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas,
said it wouldn't protect users from federal charges or from violations
of any other state laws such as trafficking. 

The conference committee is expected to adopt the amendments and
finalize the bill today, sending it to Gov. Kenny Guinn.
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