Nevada Marijuana Initiative (2012)

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Nevada Marijuana Initiative did not appear on the November 2012 statewide ballot as an indirect initiated state statute. The measure proposed the taxation and regulation of marijuana in the state of Nevada.[1]

Reports on November 8, 2010 revealed that supporters had trouble raising funds needed to gather the minimum 97,002 signatures to qualify for the ballot. According to supporters, the group has not yet decided whether to circulate a similar measure in 2012 which would require an estimated 71,000 signatures.[2]

Specifically, the initiative called for allowing 50 farmers to grow and distribute marijuana in 120 stores in Nevada. The proposed tax for marijuana purchased was $50 per ounce for wholesale and a standard sales tax for retail sale. Tax revenue generated from marijuana sales would have been directed to the General Fund.[3]

Support

The measure was supported by Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws. The Marijuana Policy Project announced in early August 2010 the organization pulled their financial backing for the effort. "It's no secret that ballot initiatives are an expensive proposition. We've had to cut back in a few places, and Nevada is one of them," said MPP spokesperson Mike Meno. According to David Schwartz, head of Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, the loss put the initiative in "jeopardy." However, Schwartz added that he was in the process of creating a new organization - Sensible Nevada.[4]

  • Following a national survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Kurt Gardinier, director for the Marijuana Policy Project said, "These latest numbers show that our current marijuana policies — which keep marijuana unregulated and in the hands of drug dealers — are clearly not working to help reduce teen use. But if marijuana were taxed and regulated, and sold only by licensed merchants who would be required to check IDs, we could much better control marijuana and help to keep it out of the hands of teenagers." The survey revealed that the percent of teens using marijuana in grades 9-12 has increased 19 percent since 2009.[5]
  • Dave Schwartz of Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws said, "Until we put it in a regulated market, we’re going to see that increase in use. But really what we’re trying to do is break the cycle of other drugs used by taxing and regulating."[5]

Opposition

  • In response to a national survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America it revealed that the percent of teens using marijuana in grades 9-12 has increased 19 percent since 2009, Nevada substance abuse counselors and educators argued that the proposed measure would not work as the Marijuana Policy Project had argued. "It wouldn’t work. It doesn’t work with alcohol, so why would it work with marijuana," said Denise Everett, executive director of Quest counseling and consulting.[5]
  • Kevin Quint, executive director of Joint Together Northern Nevada, said, "As a substance prevention coalition, we think it’s very bad policy to legalize addictive drugs. I find it curious they say they want to curb use by teens by legalizing marijuana."[5]

Media endorsements

Support

  • The Nevada Sagebrush supported the proposed marijuana initiative. In an editorial the board said, "The current failed policy led to 7,000 marijuana arrests last year, costing state taxpayers an average of $11,500 per arrest...Nevada citizens and legislators should embrace the state’s libertarian streak and implement groundbreaking and forward-thinking policy to end reefer madness."[6]

Path to the ballot

According to reports, supporters needed to collect 97,002 valid signatures to send it to the legislature. If the legislature failed to act on the measure it would have been placed on the 2012 ballot.[1]

However, reports on November 8, 2010 revealed that supporters had trouble raising funds needed to gather the minimum 97,002 signatures to qualify for the ballot. According to supporters, the group has not yet decided whether to circulate a similar measure in 2012 which would require an estimated 71,000 signatures.[2]

Related measures

Despite approving medical marijuana use in 1998 and 2000, Nevada voters rejected efforts in 2002 and 2006.

Ballot Measure Yes (%) No (%) Result
Nevada Medical Marijuana Act, Question 9 (1998) 57.8% 42.2% Approveda
Nevada Medical Marijuana Act, Question 9 (2000) 65.38% 34.62% Approveda
Nevada Decriminalization of Marijuana Amendment, Question 9 (2002) 39.1% 60.9% Defeatedd
Nevada Marijuana Initiative, Question 7 (2006) 44% 56% Defeatedd

See also

Articles

Additional reading

References