Las Vegas voters could legalize weed for the state of Nevada in 2016. The bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol will be added to the official ballot, thanks to a petition receiving more than enough signatures.
A majority of the United States is still against the idea of legalizing marijuana, at least on the government level. The sales of cannabis are still equated with substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine, but Nevada weed laws could be taking one step closer to joining the rest of the world in admitting that it’s nowhere near as lethal as the drugs it’s grouped with.
It remains to be seen whether the U.S. government will continue to call marijuana a “gateway drug,” meaning the substance that opens the way to others that might actually kill you.
Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, stated the intention to legalize weed as a positive.
“Voters will have the opportunity to end marijuana prohibition next year and replace it with a policy that actually makes sense. Regulating marijuana like alcohol will make Nevada safer by replacing the underground marijuana market with a tightly controlled system of licensed businesses.”
“The initiative will create a significant new source of funding for Nevada schools. Marijuana sales that are currently taking place in the underground market are generating revenue for cartels. In a regulated market, marijuana sales will generate revenue for students.”
The process of attempting to legalize marijuana has already shown some positive changes in Colorado, including a higher level of revenue for the state. The tax alone proved to be a little too effective though, resulting in a possible collective refund of $30 million, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
What this new law would do is make it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of the substance, while public use and driving under the influence will still be illegal.
— Weeds Glass News (@weedsglass) March 16, 2015
While Nevada residents fight to legalize weed, don’t light up that joint just yet: It is currently still illegal to possess and sell marijuana aside from medical use and could earn you a fine of up to $5,000 or even jail time.
Joe Brezny, a former Republican party official who now heads the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association, sees the advantages to helping legalize weed, and the overwhelming public response.
“The voters in Nevada clearly want a new approach to regulating marijuana. They see that taxing and regulating marijuana … makes more sense than the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”
What do you think? Will the effort to legalize marijuana in Nevada mirror those in Washington and Colorado?
[Image via The Daily Chronic]