Pubdate: Thu, 25 Nov 2010
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Section: notes from the neon babylon
Copyright: 2010, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Bruce Van Dyke


It's time for this state to join the 21st century. It's time for the
state to stop pretending that it's 1939, the age of Reefer Madness.
It's time for this state to pull its big dumb head out of its big dumb
ostrich hole and establish a sane, civilized, and eventually lucrative
system of dispensaries for medical marijauna.

The citizens of Nevada approved the use of medical marijuana many
years ago (2000 was the second time the MM initiative was passed, and
it did so with 67 percent of the vote). But the legal reality that has
evolved in the years after the initiative's passage is a typically
murky one: Nevadans with a medical marijuana permit may grow their own
pot (7 plants max), but they may not buy it. And no entity is allowed
to sell weed to those with permits.

What this does is basically ensure that the state of Nevada will in no
way participate in what would be, if only slightly encouraged, a
helpful new industry. That a state in desperate need of new streams of
revenue has successfully and most unbrilliantly gone out of its way to
guarantee that it will not make a nickel from an industry that's
waiting to bloom. It's a policy that's both moronic and nutless.

The issue needs to be addressed. Now. The state should allow and
regulate pot shops. Since there aren't any here in the Reno area, you
might think that's the way it is throughout Nevada. Wrong. In Vegas,
there have been a few brave souls who've tried to operate
dispensaries. It's not been pleasant. They were raided by DEA agents
in September, victims of goon-squad vibes that made it clear their
continued operations were not going to be tolerated. And on Nov. 18,
many of those dispensaries were raided again, this time relieved of
their business licenses and informed they had 24 hours to close shop
or face legal consequences. Unfortunately for the shop owners, the law
isn't on their side.

This is the legislature's cue. The new session, which will convene
again in February, needs to recognize that the current situation
sucks, that there's a real and pressing need for guidance and clarity
here, and that that guidance and clarity must come from the lawmakers

Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to open dispensaries, the gross
revenues of which could be taxed by the state. Those dispensaries
should be allowed to purchase its products from Nevada growers, whose
revenues could also be taxed. And the customers of those dispensaries,
holders of taxed medical marijuana permits, could then easily purchase
their goodies, which would send even more tax revenue into the
currently starving state treasury.

We've been living in a horribly feeble and gutless situation involving
medical pot for 10 years. So let's fix it already.  
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D