Patients Must Be Patient a Little Longer
Medical dispensaries for marijuana will soon appear in Nevada, but
they are not likely to be accompanied by the free-swinging procedures
that once characterized the California industry.
"It's marijuana," said Clark County Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom.
"From my perspective, whatever you do, no one should be going to jail
for marijuana. It's just marijuana."
Segerblom is one of a number of advocates of medical use of marijuana
who have worked for years to move the state to a different stance on
the medicine. In 2000, voters approved the use of medicinal
marijuana. However, Nevada cardholders were required to grow their
medicine on their own. Now, 14 years later, the push for dispensaries
in Nevada has been successful. Up to 55 dispensaries will be opening
across the state. With the exception of some of the smaller counties,
all the major cities and counties have approved dispensaries in their area.
[continues 1120 words]
CARSON CITY - Backers of an initiative petition to legalize the
recreational use of marijuana in Nevada said Friday they have
collected far more than the required number of signatures to bring
the measure to the ballot in 2016.
Joe Brezny with the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said
the group plans to turn in about 170,000 signatures to county clerks
Wednesday. The group needs 101,667 signatures from registered Nevada
voters to qualify the measure.
Brezny said he expects to have nearly two times the number of
signatures needed in each of the state's four congressional districts.
[continues 126 words]
Recreational Marijuana Coming to Nevada
Republicans weren't the only ones living the high life on Election
Day. Proponents of legalized, recreational marijuana also were big
winners, with decriminalization measures passing in Oregon, Alaska
and Washington, D.C. Nevada could be the next state to join them.
Oregon's ballot measure passed Tuesday night with 54 percent of the
vote, creating the country's third legal market for recreational
marijuana (Colorado and Washington state voters passed similar
measures in 2012). Oregon residents 21 and older can now possess and
grow marijuana. Hours later, Alaska became the fourth state, with 52
percent of voters approving a measure to tax and regulate the
production, sale and use of marijuana, making its use legal for
people 21 and older. Florida voters narrowly rejected recreational
marijuana despite providing majority support - that state's measure
required 60 percent of the vote to pass but received 58 percent.
[continues 407 words]
It's not surprising that both the Florida Sheriff's Association and
the Florida Medical Association oppose legalizing medicinal
marijuana. Expanding public access to legal marijuana is bad for
business. Locking people up for minor drug offenses and maintaining a
monopoly on the bountiful pain-relief industry are two aspects of the
status quo that law enforcement and physician groups have an interest
Sure, they dress up their concerns in different terms. But I don't buy it.
"The dangers of marijuana have been well-documented in recent years
with increased crime and traffic accidents in states that have passed
legislation legalizing marijuana," the Florida Sheriff's Association
announced. "For example, of the 20 states with the highest driver
acknowledgement of drugged driving, 15 were states that have passed
legislation legalizing marijuana."
[continues 567 words]
Nevada's implementation of the law requiring medical marijuana
establishment (MME) licensing is so far plagued by hidden financing,
proxy companies, questionable campaign contributions and forbidden
crossovers between gambling licensees and dispensary ownership in
Clark County. The problem is that the state has capped the number of
dispensaries by county, has required enormous capital to apply, and
the licenses are awarded by politicians. What could possibly go wrong?
When the state artificially creates a market, rather than markets
creating themselves, there will be corruption. When the number of
legalized outlets is capped by government, and only government can
approve new applications, the opportunity for start up competition is
capped as well. Without competition, there will be a few entrenched
special interests who will dominate the industry. Nevada promised
transparency in the selection process, but so far the process has been opaque.
[continues 466 words]
When Voters Lay Down the Law, Some Officials Balk
It was midday at Casale's Halfway Club on East Fourth Street. Though
lunch is not always a big thing here, today there was a group of 10
people around a single table. Tom Case had bid in a silent auction on
lunch for 10 with the mayors of Reno and Sparks at Casale's. He won,
and this was the gathering.
It was a fairly affluent group gathered around the table, so it was
perhaps surprising that one of the first questions was about medical
marijuana, directed at Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, who had recently
endorsed its health care use. Seated under a poster for Birra Peroni
lager, Cashell explained again the evolution of his thinking on the
matter, which involves his hearing neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta explain
the issue on CNN.
[continues 1087 words]
Coalition's Website Pushes for Legalized Recreational Use in Nevada
A pro-marijuana group seeking to legalize the recreational use of the
drug in Nevada is getting organized, creating a website where
information about the effort, including how to volunteer, can be found.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in April filed its
petition to send a recreational marijuana proposal to the 2015
Legislature. Its website is http://www.regulatemarijuanainnevada. org/.
The group also has a Facebook page. The initiative petition was filed
by Joe Brezny, executive director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry
[continues 327 words]
Recreational Pot Petition Good Policy
Nevada voters have an opportunity to reset America's costly drug war.
This week, petitioners began collecting signatures for an initiative
to legalize recreational use of marijuana within the state. If the
petitioners collect 101,667 valid signatures from registered Nevada
voters by Nov. 11, the measure would go before the 2015 Legislature
for consideration. And if lawmakers ignore or reject it, the petition
would appear on the November 2016 ballot.
We're guessing the petition, put forward by the Nevada Canabis
Industry Association with help from the Washington, D.C.-based
Marijuana Policy Project, won't have a problem collecting signatures
from less than 10 percent of Nevada's electorate. Polling
consistently shows a majority of voters now support decriminalizing
the drug. All the way back in 2006,when voters were far less open to
the idea of legalizing the purchase, possession and use of small
amounts of marijuana, 44 percent of Nevada voters backed a ballot
question to do just that.
[continues 291 words]
Notable List of Southern Nevadans Making Bids to Garner One of the Pot Permits
At the height of the "Just Say No" campaign in the war on drugs, Sig
Rogich was a senior adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Now Rogich, who runs one of the most powerful public relations firms
in Nevada, is part of a team looking to snag one of Clark County's
medical marijuana licenses.
"It was 30 years ago, a lot has changed," Rogich, 69, said of his
involvement with marijuana's staunch political opponents. "They're
legalizing it in 22 states now."
[continues 1325 words]
CARSON CITY - A pro-marijuana group filed a petition Wednesday to
start the process of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Nevada.
The decision probably will be decided by voters in 2016 if the group
can gather the requisite number of signatures.
The initiative petition was filed in the Las Vegas office of the
secretary of state by Joe Brezny, executive director of the Nevada
Cannabis Industry Association.
Supporters must collect 101,667 signatures by Nov. 11 to put a
petition to change a state law on the ballot in 2016. If they do,
[continues 289 words]
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Wednesday filed a petition with the
Nevada Secretary of State to legalize the recreational use of
marijuana in the Silver State.
The group, made up of investors who are entering Nevada's burgeoning
medical marijuana industry, needs to get 101,667 signatures by Nov. 11
to move the process forward.
The first stop would be the 2015 Nevada Legislature.
It will be an uphill battle for backers of the petition because
approval would take a two-thirds vote in both houses because the
petition has a tax component. All tax hikes in Nevada need a
two-thirds vote in the Legislature to pass. It would also need the
signature of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to become law.
[continues 2277 words]
WASHINGTON - Hoping to get marijuana legalized in Nevada, an
investment company specializing in the fast-growing marijuana
industry invited the ballot initiative's backers to pitch 150
financiers at a Las Vegas symposium.
Within 10 minutes, they raised $150,000.
Political contributors are not the only ones taking notice of the new
realities of the marijuana business, said San Francisco based ArcView
chief executive Troy Dayton, who estimated his group will spend about
$500,000 this year to support legalization of pot. Officeholders and
candidates now jostle for the stage at investor meetings, he said.
[continues 896 words]
The Nevada Legislature's response to the mandate in 2000 by Nevada
voters to create a system by which sick Nevadans could get access to
medicine was childish and a dirty trick on the most vulnerable people
in the state.
Like when Mom said, "Quit touching your sister," and you responded by
holding your finger two inches from her ear, "I'm not touching her,"
the Legislature followed the words of the law, but let the spirit of
the voter-approved law and the intention of voters dissipate like vapor.
[continues 416 words]
You can't quite call him "Senator Feelgood," but you can count Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid among the supporters of medical marijuana.
Reid last week said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun that he
wasn't always a supporter of marijuana as a palliative for the sick,
but he's changed his mind.
"If you'd asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been
easy to answer - I would have said no, because [marijuana] leads to
other stuff," Reid said, according to the Sun's Karoun Demirjian. "But
I can't say that anymore."
[continues 552 words]
ELKO - In the summer of 2013, the Free Press ran a series on the
problem of methamphetamine in the Elko community. According to Free
Press files, as many as one in four arrests in Elko county are
connected to drugs in some way.
"It's a multi-faceted problem," Elko Police Chief Ben Reed said,
adding drug use can lead to domestic violence, burglary and child abuse.
Reed was not the police chief at the time the series was written, but
he has seen the problem of meth causing property crime as well as
violent crime in the community. He and Lt. Ty Trouten said it affects
a lot of people, from users to family members to employers.
[continues 715 words]
There is a mad rush to legalize marijuana these days, but it's time
to rethink that generous yet foolish move - generous because it lifts
the onus of crime from peaceful smokers, but foolish because it harms
mental development and health.
Legalization, as we have seen it in Colorado and Washington state,
lifts the cloud of legal fears from the shoulders of millions of pot
smokers - some of them actually languishing in prisons for decades
for selling or possessing a few ounces of pot.
[continues 711 words]
The Justice Department made headlines last week when it announced a
new federal policy on marijuana. It should come as welcome news to
the majority of Americans who, according to an April Pew Research
Center poll, believe marijuana should be made legal for adults.
The policy memo issued to U.S. attorneys across the nation says that
the federal government will not interfere with state laws allowing
the medical or adult use of marijuana, as long as those states follow
certain guidelines in their regulation of the product. This means
that people in Colorado and Washington state, where voters passed
such laws in November, will be able to start selling marijuana to
people 21 and older next year.
[continues 561 words]
Assemblyman Sees Economic Benefits to State While Police Officers
Point to Dangers
CARSON CITY - In a sometimes contentious legislative hearing Friday,
Las Vegas physician Stephen Frye called marijuana a wonder drug that
helps stop cancer, does not impair driving and should be available for
all adults to enjoy.
But a line of police officers disagreed with him and urged members of
the Assembly Judiciary Committee to reject Assembly Bill 402.
The bill sought by Assemblyman Joe Hogan, D-Las Vegas, calls for
legalizing marijuana for people 21 and older. Cosponsor Assemblyman
Andrew Martin, D-Las Vegas, testified that legalizing pot could
produce $470 million a year in tax revenue that would be earmarked for
[continues 453 words]
Can Nevada Turn Marijuana Enforcement Over to the Feds?
Sen. Tick Segerblom, a Clark County Democrat, will introduce
legislation at the 2013 Nevada Legislature to decriminalize marijuana.
Assembly Republican leader Pat Hickey is open to the idea.
While a Colorado-or Washington-style legalization is not likely in
the cards-at least through the Legislature-decriminalization could
lead to some substantial policy changes and shifting of resources in
law enforcement if police agencies abided by the policy shift.
Because the federal Drug Enforcement Agency does not have the
resources to deal with both small users and big traffickers, a
decision by the Legislature to end Nevada's police enforcement of
marijuana possession cases would effectively create de facto legal
[continues 900 words]
Pro-marijuana forces are giving up on one of their favorite states,
for the time being, anyway.
No effort will be made by the Marijuana Policy Project to go to the
Nevada ballot with a legalize-and-regulate measure in 2012. Instead
the project, which has backed several earlier Nevada ballot
initiatives, will focus on Colorado, where the Campaign to Regulate
Marijuana Like Alcohol gathered almost twice the number of required
signatures on an initiative petition.
Marijuana issues of one kind or another have appeared on the Nevada
ballot by petition in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Enough signatures
were gathered for another ballot measure in 2004 but a box of
petitions containing 6,000 of those signatures were misplaced until
after the filing deadline ("Weeding out signatures," RN&R, July 1,
2004) and in 2010 a marijuana petition failed to attract enough
By the Numbers
2 percent -- Share of the guns from the United States that originated
in Nevada. The majority of firearms come from the border states of
Texas, California and Arizona.
Two years ago, the case of Zorra Penunuri put Las Vegas on the
national map in the fight against cross-border contraband.
The gun-smuggling kingpin from Southern California had purchased
$100,000 worth of rifles and pistols from Las Vegas gun dealers to
shuttle to drug cartels in Mexico, where the weapons would be used in
the proliferation of an illicit drug industry that reaches into most
[continues 1222 words]
An advocate for loosening medical marijuana restrictions in Nevada was
arrested Saturday at her southwest valley home with her husband after
police say they found a marijuana grow operation in the house where
their 13-year-old son also lived.
Rhonda Shade and Lowel Shade, both 37, were charged with child
endangerment, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell,
trafficking in a controlled substance and conspiracy to violate the
Uniform Controlled Substance Act. Lowel Shade also was charged with
possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. Rhonda Shade has denied
[continues 406 words]
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.
[continues 345 words]
Will Dems' Shift On Medical Marijuana Pave The Way For Legal Pot
For the first time in Nevada history, a major political party has
endorsed the creation of a safe, legal medical marijuana industry -- a
move that could ease the suffering of thousands of patients and
finally legitimize the state's black market network of pot
In their official party platform, released just days after their
late-June convention, delegates with the Nevada Democratic Party for
the first time included clear, powerful language endorsing Nevada's
emerging medical marijuana industry "as a contributing part of a
compassionate, alternative health care in Nevada."
[continues 869 words]
A Nevada ballot initiative petition is now circulating to make
marijuana legal and set up a regulatory system akin to tobacco or
alcohol. The petition would go first to the 2011 Nevada Legislature,
and if the lawmakers fail to act on it, voters in 2012 would decide
whether to enact it.
There are a number of unknowns surrounding the issue, but a new study
may suggest questions that need to be addressed. The Rand Corporation,
a leading think tank, has issued a report on the possible results of
making marijuana legal in California. The report found:
[continues 106 words]
Even though Nevada voters have rejected them twice in recent years by
60-40 margins, the drug legalizers will return to the Silver State in
2012. I hope we send them home for good next time around.
The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) announced
last December that it is again seeking signatures for a Nevada ballot
measure to legalize the "recreational, non-medicinal use" of
marijuana. As most Nevada voters realize, however, that would only be
the first step down the slippery slope of drug legalization. The MPP
will need to collect more than 100,000 signatures by Nov. 9 in order
to put their misguided measure on our 2012 ballot.
[continues 342 words]