Pot critics should have a chance to speak
A Clark County judge made the right call last week when he ruled that elected officials and police officers should be able to give their views on a statewide ballot initiative that would decriminalize marijuana.
The judge said those officials have a right and a duty to publicly discuss political matters like Question 7, which would legalize marijuana possession by adults.
While we agree that’s dangerous territory (you wouldn’t want a school administrator advocating one school board candidate over another, for example), the marijuana advocates are building their campaign on specific assumptions that require an answer from the police and from government officials.
Specifically, they say their initiative would benefit police by freeing up their time and allowing them to focus on serious crimes. Without the input from police, we would have to accept that as fact. Yet no Nevada law enforcement agencies have stepped forward to endorse those views or to say they are unduly burdened by enforcing marijuana laws.
Likewise, the pot legalization advocates say taxing the drug would generate a great amount of tax revenue, another statement that deserves vetting by those best qualified, even if they happen to be government officials.
Do you think the marijuana advocates would be so concerned if police and government views were supportive of legalizing pot? Not very likely. The complaints filed by the group amount to an attempt to silence those who oppose them.
It represents another example of their lack of credibility in Nevada. How could we think otherwise when we watched supporters of the ballot initiative – funded almost entirely by out-of-state money – chant at an appearance of a federal drug policy official, “Czar go home, leave Nevada alone.”
We wholeheartedly agree with half of what they’re saying.