Pubdate: Sun, 28 Aug 2016
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
Copyright: 2016 Las Vegas Review-Journal
Author: Jim Hartman
Note: Jim Hartman, an attorney in Genoa, is president of Nevadans for 
Responsible Drug Policy.


Voters in the commonwealth of Massachusetts will face Question 4 on 
their November ballot, a measure that mirrors Nevada's Question 2. 
Both would usher in the commercialization of legalized marijuana. 
Both initiatives were drafted and are promoted by the Marijuana 
Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C.. Each is locally sponsored 
by a "Committee to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol."

Surprisingly, the pushback against legalization for the commercial 
marijuana industry has been much more emphatic in liberal 
Massachusetts than in Nevada. In May, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker 
made common cause with three leading Democrats - Boston Mayor Marty 
Walsh, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Maura Healey. 
Together, they formed an opposition organization, The Committee for a 
Safe and Healthy Massachusetts.

Currently, 120 bipartisan state legislators (84 Democrats and 36 
Republicans) have signed up in opposition to Questino 4 in the Bay 
State. Only 10 legislators have endorsed it. Moreover, opposition to 
the initiative has been registered from important and diverse groups 
throughout the state, including medical organizations and hospitals, 
municipal associations, business organizations, school 
superintendents, law enforcement leaders and all 21 district attorneys.

As a result, Massachusetts public opinion on Question 4 has shifted 
dramatically. An initial poll in the state had "legalization" leading 
with 57 percent support. Two recent Massachusetts polls show it now 
losing by 10 percent.

In contrast, support for Question 2 in Nevada has been limited to a 
very small number of state legislators, including marijuana champion 
state Sen. Tick Segerblom and nine others. But opposition to the 
question has been muted. Gov. Brian Sandoval has voiced opposition 
and Sen. Harry Reid said he was "very, very dubious and concerned" 
about recreational legalization. While formal opposition is growing, 
there are still many Nevada officeholders and organizations that have 
yet to take a position.

Voters need to read the 13-page initiative on the ballot as Question 
2. It's a "business plan" written by members of the marijuana 
industry to exclusively benefit themselves. Its provisions include a 
self-serving industry overreach providing no local government 
"opt-outs" for any of Nevada's 17 counties, unlike provisions found 
in Colorado's legalization law and in Nevada's medical marijuana law.

Section 14 of the initiative actually criminalizes personal 
cultivation within 25 miles of a retail marijuana establishment. It's 
"phony legalization" drafted by the commercial marijuana industry.

Those in "liberal" Massachusetts know what's at issue and their state 
has come together united in opposition to the commercial marijuana 
legalization initiative. If Massachusetts can do it, what's the 
matter with more "conservative" Nevada?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom