The Popcorn Stand: Your vote does count | NevadaAppeal.com

The Popcorn Stand: Your vote does count

Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

Anyone wondering whether their vote counts need only look back to the 2000 presidential election when Al Gore lost the state of Florida by 537 votes.

The loss of Florida tipped the Electoral College to the Republicans and changed history.

When asked why they don't vote, we've heard many a person say that their vote doesn't count.

And most of the time that's true. Until it's not.

We've had several elections in Nevada that hung on a thread. Today, Harry Reid's U.S. Senate seat will go to someone else, but in 1998, he almost lost it to John Ensign.

Reid won the race by only 401 votes when only Clark and Mineral counties voted for him.

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There promises to be some very close races in today's election, making it even more likely that every vote will count.

Voting is by far the easiest duty we have as citizens of a free country. All you have to do is show up and press a touch screen.

Generations of Americans have given their lives to ensure we have a right to choose our leaders. Don't let them down by failing to turn out to the polls today.

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Speaking of the polls, we are asked our stance on Nevada ballot initiative 2, much like question 1 it is a personal decision. Our opinion is unlikely to swing a vote. While it is a personal decision, from a businesses and legislative standpoint, legalized marijuana is bad for Nevada.

A few weeks ago, our sister paper The Record-Courier said:

"We suspect that some day marijuana will be legal to possess and use in Nevada, but that the initiative process is exactly the worst way for that to happen.

Nevada has struggled with its medical marijuana law so long that it's hard to remember that it started out as an initiative drive to change the state constitution in 1998.

When it was approved, it didn't even include a provision for people who had been prescribed the drug with a legal means to obtain marijuana.

We still haven't figured out what the level of intoxication actually is for marijuana.

Nevada Revised Statutes 484C.120(3), says it's against the law to drive with 5 nanograms of marijuana metabolite per milliliter in the blood, a holdover from the days when any detectable marijuana was illegal.

That means anyone who uses prescribed medical marijuana on a regular basis might as well turn in their license, because they are probably above the legal limit to drive.

All these are the dangers of legislating from a parking lot, which is essentially what the initiative process does. Signatures are just as likely to be about the person with the petition as they are about the subject at hand.

We know that if Question 2 is rejected by voters this election cycle, it will be back next time and the time after that. Eventually, one of these is going to hit and then there will be very little control over what it looks like. We feel it is better to tackle the issue head-on in the Legislature, rather than end up with something that makes it worse."

We couldn't agree more.

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