Nevada: Activists to Turn in 170k Signatures to Place Marijuana Legalization on 2016 Ballot

Nevada: Activists to Turn in 170k Signatures to Place Marijuana Legalization on 2016 Ballot

CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says they will turn in 170,000 signatures to election officials on Wednesday for an initiative to place marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot.

Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol - Nevada 2016

In order for the initiative to be placed before voters, 101,667 of those signatures,  including a minimum number of signatures in each of the state’s four congressional districts, will need to be certified as valid by election officials.

The deadline for initiative petitions is Tuesday, but since it is Veteran’s Day and a state and federal holiday, the deadline has been pushed back to Wednesday.   Activists have been collecting signatures since earlier this year.

The initiative, backed by the Washington, DC – based Marijuana Policy Project, who placed successful marijuana legalization measures on the ballots in Colorado (2012) and Alaska (2014), is modeled after the measure passed by Colorado voters in 2012.   Adults 21 or older would be allowed to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, which could be purchased from state regulated retail stores.

If the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s petition is certified with enough signatures, the proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 or older will first go before the 2015 state legislature.

The legislature will have the option of approving the measure, eliminating the need for the measure to be placed before voters.  If lawmakers fail to approve the proposal within the first 60 days of the legislative session, it will be placed on the November 2016 ballot for voters to decide.

Because the measure would propose taxing marijuana, the both chambers of the legislature would need to pass the bill with two-thirds approval.  The bill, if passed by the legislature, would also need the signature of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to become law.

But if the legislature votes the bill down, or if the bill is vetoed by the governor, the measure automatically would be placed on the November ballot the following year, which is the most likely scenario.

And because the measure would go before voters in a presidential election year, supporters are optimistic that the measure will pass.

“You have a component in the presidential election that would favor us,” Joe Brezney, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, said earlier this year. “You’ll have a bump in young people turning out to vote for a president, and young people overwhelmingly support us.”

In addition to the presidential election, US Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), a supporter of allowing medical marijuana, is also up for re-election in 2016, which could further increase voter turnout.

The full text of the initiative can be read here.

  • Williebb

    well the ball got rolling earlier than i expected would like to see 8-9 states put this on for 2016 but more would have a warm welcome too

  • Putin on the Ritz

    Gaming lobbyists will try and kill the bill – stoners aren’t as loose with their money!

  • Edo Edo

    Forget red or black. Now we bet on green…

  • Stel-1776

    When making cannabis policy decisions, it would be irresponsible to ignore the great costs and many harms of cannabis prohibition.

    For this prohibition to be justified it needs to be established that:

    1) Cannabis is significantly harmful (at least more than alcohol)
    2) The prohibition will significantly reduce problematic usage
    3) The direct and indirect costs of prohibition to an American society are less than any gains from 1 and 2 (don’t underestimate the value we place on freedom and liberty)

    None of these 3 requirements have ever been established. After decades of research, the relative safety and medical efficacy of cannabis have been established well enough to conclude that it is significantly less harmful and more useful than alcohol. The vast majority of preventable harms related to cannabis are caused by the very laws that are supposed to “protect us” from it. Some of these harms are:

    •Increased deaths of countless people involved on all sides of the “war”, including law enforcement and bystanders
    •The spending of 100’s of billions of our dollars seeking out, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating otherwise law-abiding citizens
    •The loss of billions in tax revenue from production, distribution, and sales, which can be used for all substance abuse treatment
    •The redirection of valuable police time and resources from solving and preventing true crime
    •The filling of our jails with non-violent offenders, exposing them to true criminals and forcing the early release of dangerous criminals
    •The empowerment and expansion of underground markets as a very popular substance is placed within them
    •Increased crime as dealers and buyers have no legal recourse to resolve disputes
    •Increased exposure to hard drugs as many cannabis consumers buy from suppliers who have access to them, even push them
    •All sales, over 20 million pounds per year, are unregulated and placed in the hands of criminals who never check ID
    •Increased likelihood of contamination with anything from pesticides and molds to other drugs.
    •The prevention of some adults from choosing a recreational substance less harmful than alcohol
    •Increased corruption within the legal system
    •The invasion of our civil liberties, which in America we hold in especially high regard
    •The prevention of people from receiving effective medicine
    •The prevention of people from receiving decent employment, scholarship money, and student aid due to their “criminal” record, which affects not just them but their family as well
    •Increased support of tremendous multinational criminal networks
    •Increased public mistrust, disrespect, and disdain for our legal system, police, and government, which is devastating to our country

    Considering these great costs, it is unreasonable to continue this policy against a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol. Why are we forcing police to deal with something that is, if anything, a minor public health issue? Why are we criminalizing people for something that has been safely enjoyed by millions of Americans for decades, something that a majority of Americans believe should be legalized recreationally?

    Cannabis prohibition is a travesty of justice based on irrational fears and paranoia from an archaic era that needs to end now. Cannabis must be legalized and regulated similar to alcohol. Prohibition policies do not work for popular things that are safely enjoyed by many…especially not in a country that values liberty, justice, and freedom. A vote for cannabis legalization does not condone its use, it condemns a costly prohibition that causes more harm than it prevents.

    Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” -Abraham Lincoln

    Urge your legislators to implement a cannabis policy similar to that of alcohol. Please consider what the following cannabis legalization organizations have to say. Help end this harmful, unjust, unfounded, un-American prohibition by joining their mailing lists, signing their petitions and writing your legislators when they call for it.

    MPP – The Marijuana Policy Projecthttp://www.mpp.Org
    DPA – Drug Policy Alliancehttp://www.drugpolicy.Org
    LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibitionhttp://www.leap.Cc
    NORML – National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws – norml.Org