State question 2: Recreational marijuana | NevadaAppeal.com

State question 2: Recreational marijuana

Amendment to the Nevada Revised Statutes

Shall the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended to allow a person, 21 years old or older, to purchase, cultivate, possess, or consume a certain amount of marijuana or concentrated marijuana, as well as manufacture, possess, use, transport, purchase, distribute, or sell marijuana paraphernalia; impose a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of marijuana; require the regulation and licensing of marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, distributors, suppliers, and retailers; and provide for certain criminal penalties?

Yes

No

Explanation

This ballot measure proposes to amend the Nevada Revised Statutes to make it lawful for a person 21 years of age or older to purchase and consume one ounce or less of marijuana other than concentrated marijuana, or one-eighth of an ounce or less of concentrated marijuana. It would also make it lawful for a person 21 years of age or older to cultivate not more than six marijuana plants for personal use, as well as obtain and use marijuana paraphernalia.

The ballot measure would also allow for the operation of marijuana establishments, which would be regulated by the Department of Taxation. Regulated marijuana establishments would include marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana distributors, and retail marijuana stores. For the first 18 months, the Department of Taxation would only accept license applications for retail marijuana stores, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and marijuana cultivation facilities from persons holding a medical marijuana establishment registration certificate. Similarly, for the first 18 months, the Department of Taxation would only issue marijuana distributors’ licenses to persons holding a Nevada wholesale liquor dealers’ license, unless the Department determines an insufficient number of marijuana distributors would result from this limitation.

If the ballot measure is approved, no marijuana establishments would be allowed within 1,000 feet of a public or private K-12 school or 300 feet of a community facility. There would also be limits on the number of retail marijuana store licenses issued in each county by the Department of Taxation. In a county with a population greater than 700,000, up to 80 retail marijuana store licenses would be allowed; in a county with a population greater than 100,000 but less than 700,000, up to 20 retail marijuana store licenses would be allowed; in a county with a population greater than 55,000 but less than 100,000, up to 4 retail marijuana store licenses would be allowed; and in a county with a population less than 55,000, up to 2 retail marijuana store licenses would be allowed. At the request of a county government, the Department of Taxation may issue retail marijuana store licenses in excess of the number otherwise allowed.

In addition to licensing, the Department of Taxation would be charged with adopting regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this ballot measure. The regulations must address licensing procedures; licensee qualifications; security of marijuana establishments; testing, labeling, and packaging requirements; reasonable restrictions on advertising; and civil penalties for violating any regulation adopted by the Department.

Approval of the ballot measure would not prevent the imposition of civil or criminal penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana; knowingly selling or giving marijuana to a person under 21 years of age; possessing or using marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia in state correctional centers; possessing or using marijuana on school grounds; or undertaking any task under the influence of marijuana that constitutes negligence or professional malpractice. The measure would also not prevent employers from enforcing marijuana bans for their workers; marijuana bans in public buildings or on private property; and localities from adopting control measures pertaining to zoning and land use for marijuana establishments.

Under the provisions of the ballot measure, all applicants for a marijuana establishment license would be required to pay a one-time application fee of $5,000. Additionally, the Department of Taxation may require the payment of an annual licensing fee ranging from $3,300 to $30,000, depending on type of license. The measure would also impose a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of marijuana in Nevada by a marijuana cultivation facility. Revenue from this excise tax, as well as revenue from licensing fees and penalties collected by the Department of Taxation related to the regulation of marijuana, would first go to the Department of Taxation and local governments to cover the costs of carrying out the provisions of this measure. Any remaining revenue would be deposited in the State Distributive School Account.

Lastly, this ballot measure would impose criminal penalties for certain violations related to the possession, use, sale, and cultivation of marijuana and marijuana plants. Criminal offenses would include violations of the marijuana cultivation laws set forth in the measure; public consumption of marijuana; a person falsely representing himself or herself to be 21 years of age or older in order to obtain marijuana; and knowingly giving marijuana to a person under 21 years of age.

“Yes” vote

A “Yes” vote would amend the Nevada Revised Statutes to allow a person, 21 years old or older, to purchase, cultivate, possess, or consume a certain amount of marijuana or concentrated marijuana, as well as manufacture, possess, use, transport, purchase, distribute, or sell marijuana paraphernalia; impose a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of marijuana; require the regulation and licensing of marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, distributors, suppliers, and retailers; and provide for certain criminal penalties.

“No” vote

A “No” vote would retain the provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes in their current form. These provisions prohibit the possession, use, cultivation, and sale or delivery of marijuana in the State of Nevada for non-medical purposes, as well as the possession, use, sale, delivery, or manufacture of marijuana paraphernalia for non-medical purposes.

Argument for passage

Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana

Vote Yes On 2! Question 2 will benefit Nevada by regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol:

It makes possession of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older;

It establishes strict rules for the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of marijuana in Nevada; and

It will generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue to support K-12 education.

Question 2 is a sensible change in law for the state.

Marijuana prohibition is a failed policy in every sense of the word. Our government took a substance less harmful than alcohol and made it completely illegal. This resulted in the growth of a multi-billion-dollar underground market driven by drug cartels and criminals operating in our communities. We have forced law enforcement to focus on the sale and use of marijuana instead of on serious, violent, and unsolved crimes. Question 2 is a better way. We need to eliminate the criminal market by shifting the production and sale of marijuana into the hands of tightly regulated Nevada businesses, who will be required to comply with state and local laws, including environmental standards.

By regulating marijuana like alcohol, marijuana businesses will be required to:

Test marijuana products to ensure that they are safe and properly labeled;

Sell marijuana products in child-resistant packaging; and

Check identification of customers to ensure marijuana is not sold to minors.

None of that occurs in the illegal market.

The initiative provides for a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana, which will generate an estimated $20 million annually.

This will cover the cost of enforcing regulations and will also support K-12 education in the state. In addition to this tax, legal marijuana sales will generate more than $30 million annually in state and local sales tax revenue.

To enhance public safety, the initiative:

Leaves in place Nevada’s strict laws against driving under the influence of marijuana;

Allows employers to have policies against the use of marijuana by employees;

Prohibits the use of marijuana in public; and

Imposes significant penalties for distribution of marijuana to minors.

It’s time to stop punishing adults who use marijuana responsibly. This initiative will accomplish that goal in a manner that protects consumers, enhances public safety, provides for local control, generates tax revenue, and creates thousands of new jobs in the state. Vote Yes on 2!

Argument against passage

Vote NO on Question 2. It’s bad for Nevada children, bad for Nevada families, and bad for Nevada taxpayers.

Question 2 is about one thing — making out-of-state pot companies rich at your expense. It will bring marijuana stores to your neighborhood allowing kid-friendly, pot gummy bears and candies.

It also allows the selling of high-potency pot — today’s pot is more than 20 times stronger than the marijuana of the 1960s. It gives shadowy corporations and Nevada’s alcohol industry special monopoly-like powers, at the expense of ordinary Nevadans. Question 2 is

funded and supported by special interests in Washington, D.C., who simply want to get rich.

More specifically:

Question 2 would allow marijuana shops in neighborhoods — where your children live — to sell pot-laced edibles that are easily mistaken for ordinary candy. Since Colorado legalized pot, marijuana use by youth is now ranked 56 percent higher than the national average.

Studies show THC, the psychoactive component in today’s marijuana, has devastating effects on the developing teenage brain.

So Question 2 isn’t about protecting children, and would provide children with easier access to marijuana.

Question 2 would permit new pot products with high potency levels. Fatal accidents involving stoned drivers have more than doubled in Washington where pot has been legalized.

Question 2 isn’t about public health and safety. It’s about marketing a harmful drug to people for profit.

Studies show teenagers who regularly use marijuana have lower IQs and higher dropout rates, and do worse on college entrance exams.

Nevada is currently near the bottom of most U.S. rankings in education. At a time when skilled graduates are needed to fill Nevada jobs, we can’t afford to fall any further.

Question 2 would give special treatment and benefits to corporate interests and select alcohol companies involved in recreational marijuana sales. So Question 2 isn’t about business opportunities for average Nevadans, but about corporate handouts to a privileged few.

The black market for pot will not go away by legalizing marijuana. “We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado [and] plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all,” said Colorado Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman.

Bottom line: Legalizing marijuana will send a message to Nevada’s children and teens that drug use is acceptable.

Question 2 is bad for Nevada children, bad for Nevada’s families, and bad for Nevada taxpayers.

Just say NO to Question 2.

The above arguments were submitted by the Ballot Question Committee composed of citizens as provided for in NRS 293.252.