Letters 8/2 | NevadaAppeal.com

Letters 8/2

Support offered for marijuana initiative

In November 2006, the citizens of Nevada will face a difficult decision. Nevadans will vote on a ballot initiative that seeks to replace our failed marijuana laws with a system of strict regulation and control.

Last year in the United States, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies arrested more people for simple marijuana offenses that hit an all-time high of 771,605 nationwide – more then one arrest per minute. That’s equivalent of arresting the populations of Las Vegas and Reno combined. The Nevada Department of Public Safety has released its crime and justice report for the year 2005, which contains a monthly crime data report submitted by law enforcement agencies across the state. According to the monthly data, 5,532 marijuana arrests were made in Nevada. The crime and justice reports states; “Nevada Arrested More People for Marijuana Possession Last Year Than Murder, Manslaughter, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault Combined.”

The marijuana initiative would benefit Nevada; will make our communities safer by removing marijuana from the criminal market and taking money out of the hands of violent gangs and drug dealers. This initiative would crack down on the marijuana sales to minors, by doubling the penalties for anyone who gives or sells marijuana to a minor. Also, marijuana stores could not be located within 500 feet of a school, and only adults ages 21 or older who show a valid ID could purchase marijuana or even enter marijuana stores; “Drug dealers don’t card”. In addition, the initiative would generate tax revenues for alcohol and drug treatment, by requiring that adults who want to use marijuana legally must obtain it from strictly regulated business – generating $28 million in annual tax revenues for the state instead of profits for drug dealers.

Our marijuana laws in Nevada are not working. It is time for a real solution: strict regulation and control. Nevada’s failed marijuana laws cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

What are the health effects of marijuana? Unlike with alcohol or tobacco, no one has ever died from using marijuana. In addition, while marijuana is not harmless, its risks are lower than those of many legal drugs.

Can cause stroke; Alcohol – yes, Tobacco – yes, Marijuana – no.

Overdose can cause death – Alcohol – yes, Tobacco – yes, Marijuana – no.

REGULATION IS THE ANSWER.

The marijuana initiative would remove criminal penalties for adults aged 21 and older who responsibly use and possess up to one ounce of marijuana – the equivalent of one-and-a-half packs of cigarettes – in the privacy of their own homes. Increase penalties for motorists who kill someone while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug, or smoking marijuana in public, using or possessing marijuana on school grounds or prisons, and transporting marijuana across state lines.

Steve Williams

Carson City

Animal abuse should be a felony

I can’t even begin to express the outrage I felt while reading about the poor puppy in Silver Springs that had been hobbled and injured. God forbid it should ever be returned to an owner with such poor judgment and lack of compassion or common sense. He should NEVER be allowed to own a pet again in his lifetime.

Also what kind of lesson was he teaching his son on caring for animals? I’m a believer any sort of animal abuse should be a universal felony, but all the perpetrators ever seem to get is a slap on the wrist in Nevada.

I want to see our legislators wake up … are you listening, John Ensign, veterinarian?

L.E.Wood

Gardnerville