Letters to the editor for Friday, April 28, 2017

Commercial pot: Not in our county

Douglas County public officials have enacted an ordinance that prohibits commercial marijuana establishment uses, including cultivation, testing, product manufacture, distribution and retail facilities in all county zoning districts. It does not prohibit the use of recreational marijuana or the growing of plants for personal use by qualified people.

The ordinance is premised on the fact that Question 2 legalizing recreational marijuana in Nevada was decisively defeated in Douglas County (57.4 percent to 42.6 percent).

Thirteen of Nevada’s 17 counties voted against Question 2, including Carson, Lyon and Churchill counties. Public officials in these counties should follow the Douglas County lead.

Douglas is following precedent in Colorado since that state voted to legalize recreational marijuana statewide in 2012. In Colorado, the vast majority of local government jurisdictions have “opted out” of permitting commercial marijuana establishments in their counties and municipalities. Two hundred and fifteen out of Colorado’s 296 “local jurisdictions” (73 percent) have “opted out.”

Similarly, in Oregon 89 cities and counties have “opted out” of licensing commercial marijuana establishments since their state legalized recreational marijuana in 2015.

Commercial recreational marijuana “opt out” elections recently held in Massachusetts towns on March 7 and April 4 resulted in overwhelming votes against retail pot shops (81 percent and 77 percent voting “No”).

The message should be clear. While “legalization” carried statewide in Nevada (54.5 percent) with that entire victory margin coming from Clark County, the vast majority of Nevadans do not want commercial recreational establishments in their own counties, towns and neighborhoods.

Jim Hartman



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