Editorial: Voters should decriminalize possession and use of marijuana for adults

Just as the Volstead Act did by creating Prohibition, the laws criminalizing the use and possession of marijuana have spawned a criminal industry and ruined lives without accomplishing the objective of legally imposed universal abstinence.

While we do not advocate nor even condone the use of either alcohol or marijuana, we find it contrary to the principles of a free society to punish individuals who do partake so long as they pose no threat to others — such as driving while under the influence.

Question 2 on the statewide November ballot, if approved by the voters, would amend state statutes to make it lawful for a person 21 or older to purchase and consume an ounce or less of marijuana. It also would allow those of the age of majority to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use.

The measure also would allow the creation of taxed marijuana shops under the same precepts as liquor stores and tax such sales.

While proponents of the measure tend to harp on how much tax revenue might be generated by taxes on marijuana sales that would go to fund education, we prefer to highlight the individual liberty and the relief on law enforcement and the courts by not having to bother with enforcement of pot prohibition.

The argument for passage, as stated in the official explanation by the state secretary of state’s office, notes, “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.”

It goes on to argue that shifting the production and sale of marijuana into the hands of tightly regulated Nevada businesses will result in safer and cleaner marijuana and possibly reduce the sale of pot to minors. Studies have found that teen marijuana use has fallen in recent years, even at a time when four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and 23 others, like Nevada, allow it for medicinal purposes.

The arguments against Question 2 have all the subtlety and persuasiveness of that old scare film “Reefer Madness.”

It makes no sense to continue to jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of those who deign to experiment with marijuana at some point in their lives, especially since the outcome is dictated by the near-random chance that some are arrested while others are not.

As we said, we do not advocate marijuana use any more than we advocate prostitution, which is legal in many rural Nevada counties, but rather come down on the side of decriminalization for consenting adults in a properly regulated setting.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

50 comments on “Editorial: Voters should decriminalize possession and use of marijuana for adults

  1. John G Edwards says:

    Agreed. We have a chance to let Nevadans sell marijuana, instead of criminals and drug cartels. We don’t have a choice about whether marijuana will be consumed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Disagree. Marijuana is much more addictive than alcohol and has more harmful health effects. I believe legalization will lead to increase use, particularly in kids. The most prevalent drug found in tests of prisoners is marijuana according to the RAND corporation. Increased use will cause more burden on law enforcement – not less. Legalization would still result in a grey market to avoid the taxation just as with cigarettes today.

  3. Steve says:

    Circular argument.
    Since we arrest and jail far more people for marijuana use it follows the population of the prisons will have marijuana as “The most prevalent drug”

    As for the rest of the anonymous posters claims, all of those are straight out of “refer madness” and all have been fully debunked.

  4. Barbara says:

    Anon was my post. On a different computer.

    Marijuana is more addictive and has more harmful effects than alcohol. We do not arrest and send to prison more people for marijuana use than other criminal offenses.

    I fully expect this to pass, but science does not back up the facts that marijuana is harmless.

    http://www.heritage.org/events/2015/02/going-to-pot

  5. Who said it was harmless? If we start banning everything harmful, there will be no end until we get rid of people.

  6. Barbara says:

    Steve indicated that the harmful effects of marijuana had all been “fully debunked.” I interpreted this as his belief that marijuana was harmless as compared to alcohol.

    I believe the addictive effects of marijuana may be as great as cocaine given the stronger THC present in today’s marijuana. Would you legalize all drug use for adults then?

  7. Steve says:

    Alcohol is well known to be more addictive and far more physically harmful than marijuana.

    some of the troubles with legalization are very similar to the repeal of prohibition. Over reaction among the populace has skewed things in an expected direction. As it becomes more like alcohol has become, it will be far less harmful and far batter for society as a whole.

    Funny thing about this discussion, we conservative always decry the “nanny” state, then some of us just can’t let go of it!

  8. Barbara says:

    I support federalism. Drug laws should be left to the states. If you listen to the recording, you will find that numerous studies do not support your contention on the harmful and addictive effects of marijuana. Science is not on your side. No health organization supports the legalization of marijuana based on scientific findings which show the very harmful effects of marijuana.

  9. Steve says:

    ummm….

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234/

    Bottom line, marijuana is the least dangerous of all the so called recreational drugs. Alcohol is the most dangerous.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

    And, again, I thought conservatives were supposed to be anti-nanny-state.

  10. Barbara says:

    So we have dueling medical sources that disagree on marijuana. Conservatives believe in constitutional principles and natural law. All laws are based on moral principles. This is why conservatives are generally pro-life and pro marriage. Libertarians are generally pro-choice and for the legalization of drugs and LGBT issues.

    I would entertain decriminalization at the state level of all drug laws if the drugs were to be obtained from medical personnel. I am for repeal of any federal drug law.

    This is an interesting article on Canada legalizing heroin.

    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/09/5-reasons-why-canadas-legalized-heroin-makes-a-lot-of-sense

  11. Steve says:

    Heroin is the drug Ted Binion used his whole life. We all know it wasn’t what killed him.
    In fact, the ill effects of heroin have been shown to be nearly 90% caused by the laws against its use. For instance, street drug costs take away the ability to buy food. The UK did an experiment with free heroin. People on the program were drug tested to be certain there actually the users of the drug. The results were a severe reduction in crime and actually got people off the drug entirely.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/8255418.stm

    You are referring to dedicated conservative sites (which are, like sites from the other side such as occupydemocrats, usually one sided and misleading) while I am referring to MSM and government sites.

    I like objectivity over opinion.

  12. Barbara says:

    No medical association supports drug legalization as far as I know because of the harmful effects to the human body. If you are trying to say there are no harmful effects of marijuana, you are reading propaganda and not scientific studies.

    One can support legalization based on a belief in liberty issues (which I understand but don’t agree). To argue that there are no harmful effects to the human body is just asinine.

  13. Steve says:

    National Institutes of Health is a propaganda site?

    As for harmful effects, since Alcohol is absolutely the worst, logic dictates the lesser options should be at least as legal as alcohol.

  14. Barbara says:

    From the NIH:

    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

    THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural THC-like chemicals in the brain. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.

    Marijuana overactivates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that users feel. Other effects include:

    altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
    altered sense of time
    changes in mood
    impaired body movement
    difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
    impaired memory
    Long-term effects

    Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.

    Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent.

    For example, a study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing cannabis use disorder lost an average of eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities did not fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults did not show notable IQ declines.3

    A Rise in Marijuana’s THC Levels

    The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.4 For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.

    The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of users having harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results.

    Dabbing is yet another growing trend. More people are using marijuana extracts that provide stronger doses, and therefore stronger effects, of THC (see “Marijuana Extracts”).

    Higher THC levels may mean a greater risk for addiction if users are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.
    What are the other health effects of marijuana?

    Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental.

    Physical effects

    Breathing problems. Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have the same breathing problems that tobacco smokers have. These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Researchers still do not know whether marijuana smokers have a higher risk for lung cancer.
    Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect may increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk
    Problems with child development during and after pregnancy. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies. If a pregnant woman uses marijuana, the drug may affect certain developing parts of the fetus’s brain. Resulting challenges for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving. Additionally, some research suggests that moderate amounts of THC are excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers. The effects on a baby’s developing brain are still unknown.
    Silhouette of a seated young male, hunched over with his head resting in his hand.
    Photo by ©iStock/Adrian Hillman
    Mental effects

    Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some users, such as:

    temporary hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
    temporary paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
    worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking)
    Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens. However, study findings have been mixed.

    How Does Marijuana Affect a User’s Life?

    Compared to nonusers, heavy marijuana users more often report the following:

    lower life satisfaction
    poorer mental health
    poorer physical health
    more relationship problems
    Users also report less academic and career success. For example, marijuana use is linked to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school.5 It is also linked to more job absences, accidents, and injuries.6

    Is marijuana a gateway drug?

    Some research suggests that marijuana use is likely to come before use of other drugs.7 Marijuana use is also linked to addiction to other substances, including nicotine. In addition, animal studies show that the THC in marijuana makes other drugs more pleasurable to the brain.8

    Although these findings support the idea of marijuana as a “gateway drug,” the majority of people who use marijuana don’t go on to use other “harder” drugs. Read more about marijuana as a gateway drug in the Marijuana Research Report at http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/letter-director.

    Is marijuana addictive?

    Contrary to common belief, marijuana can be addictive. Research suggests that 30 percent of users may develop some degree of problem use, which can lead to dependence and in severe cases takes the form of addiction.9 People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more like than adults to develop problem use.10 Dependence becomes addiction when the person can’t stop using marijuana even though it interferes with his or her daily life.

    How can people get treatment for marijuana addiction?

    Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include:

    grouchiness
    sleeplessness
    decreased appetite
    anxiety
    cravings
    Behavioral support has been effective in treating marijuana addiction. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives (providing rewards to patients who remain substance free). No medications are currently available to treat marijuana addiction. However, continuing research may lead to new medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse.

    Points to Remember

    Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.
    The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds.
    People use marijuana by smoking, eating, drinking, and inhaling it.
    Smoking THC-rich extracts from the marijuana plant (a practice called dabbing) is on the rise.
    THC overactivates certain brain cell receptors, resulting in effects such as:
    altered senses
    changes in mood
    impaired body movement
    difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
    impaired memory and learning
    Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental, which include:
    breathing illnesses
    possible harm to a fetus’s brain in pregnant users
    hallucinations and paranoia
    The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily, creating more harmful effects for users.
    Marijuana can be addictive.
    Treatment for marijuana addiction includes forms of behavioral therapy. No medications currently exist for treatment.
    Learn More

    For more information about marijuana and marijuana use, visit:

    http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana
    http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving
    For more information about marijuana as medicine and about state laws related to marijuana, visit:

    http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/state-laws-related-to-marijuana
    Monitoring the Future

    Learn more about the Monitoring the Future survey, which annually measures drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and related attitudes among teenage students nationwide:
    http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/monitoring-future

    References

    Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ). Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2015. HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50.
    Johnston L, O’Malley P, Miech R, Bachman J, Schulenberg J. Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use: 1975-2015: Overview: Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan; 2015.
    Meier MH, Caspi A, Ambler A, et al. Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(40):E2657-E2664. doi:10.1073/pnas.1206820109.
    Mehmedic Z, Chandra S, Slade D, et al. Potency trends of Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids in confiscated cannabis preparations from 1993 to 2008. J Forensic Sci. 2010;55(5):1209-1217. doi:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01441.x.
    McCaffrey DF, Pacula RL, Han B, Ellickson P. Marijuana Use and High School Dropout: The Influence of Unobservables. Health Econ. 2010;19(11):1281-1299. doi:10.1002/hec.1561.
    Zwerling C, Ryan J, Orav EJ. The efficacy of preemployment drug screening for marijuana and cocaine in predicting employment outcome. JAMA. 1990;264(20):2639-2643.
    Secades-Villa R, Garcia-Rodríguez O, Jin CJ, Wang S, Blanco C. Probability and predictors of the cannabis gateway effect: a national study. Int J Drug Policy. 2015;26(2):135-142. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.07.011.
    Panlilio LV, Zanettini C, Barnes C, Solinas M, Goldberg SR. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of nicotine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013;38(7):1198-1208. doi:10.1038/npp.2013.16.
    Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1235-1242. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858.
    Winters KC, Lee C-YS. Likelihood of developing an alcohol and cannabis use disorder during youth: association with recent use and age. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008;92(1-3):239-247. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.08.005.
    This publication is available for your use and may be reproduced in its entirety without permission from NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated, using the following language: Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    This page was last updated March 2016

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  15. Barbara says:

    From the NIH:
    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

    How does marijuana affect the brain?

    Marijuana has both short- and long-term effects on the brain.

    Image of a cross section of the brain with marked areas that are affected by THC.THC acts on numerous areas (in yellow) in the brain.
    Image by NIDA
    Short-term effects

    When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, the user generally feels the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural THC-like chemicals in the brain. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.

    Marijuana overactivates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that users feel. Other effects include:

    altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
    altered sense of time
    changes in mood
    impaired body movement
    difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
    impaired memory
    Long-term effects

    Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.

    Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent.

    For example, a study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing cannabis use disorder lost an average of eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities did not fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults did not show notable IQ declines.3

    A Rise in Marijuana’s THC Levels

    The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.4 For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.

    The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of users having harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results.

    Dabbing is yet another growing trend. More people are using marijuana extracts that provide stronger doses, and therefore stronger effects, of THC (see “Marijuana Extracts”).

    Higher THC levels may mean a greater risk for addiction if users are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.
    What are the other health effects of marijuana?

    Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental.

    Physical effects

    Breathing problems. Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have the same breathing problems that tobacco smokers have. These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Researchers still do not know whether marijuana smokers have a higher risk for lung cancer.
    Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect may increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk
    Problems with child development during and after pregnancy. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies. If a pregnant woman uses marijuana, the drug may affect certain developing parts of the fetus’s brain. Resulting challenges for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving. Additionally, some research suggests that moderate amounts of THC are excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers. The effects on a baby’s developing brain are still unknown.
    Silhouette of a seated young male, hunched over with his head resting in his hand.
    Photo by ©iStock/Adrian Hillman
    Mental effects

    Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some users, such as:

    temporary hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
    temporary paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
    worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking)
    Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens. However, study findings have been mixed.

    How Does Marijuana Affect a User’s Life?

    Compared to nonusers, heavy marijuana users more often report the following:

    lower life satisfaction
    poorer mental health
    poorer physical health
    more relationship problems
    Users also report less academic and career success. For example, marijuana use is linked to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school.5 It is also linked to more job absences, accidents, and injuries.6

    Is marijuana a gateway drug?

    Some research suggests that marijuana use is likely to come before use of other drugs.7 Marijuana use is also linked to addiction to other substances, including nicotine. In addition, animal studies show that the THC in marijuana makes other drugs more pleasurable to the brain.8

    Although these findings support the idea of marijuana as a “gateway drug,” the majority of people who use marijuana don’t go on to use other “harder” drugs. Read more about marijuana as a gateway drug in the Marijuana Research Report at http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/letter-director.

    Is marijuana addictive?

    Contrary to common belief, marijuana can be addictive. Research suggests that 30 percent of users may develop some degree of problem use, which can lead to dependence and in severe cases takes the form of addiction.9 People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more like than adults to develop problem use.10 Dependence becomes addiction when the person can’t stop using marijuana even though it interferes with his or her daily life.

    How can people get treatment for marijuana addiction?

    Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include:

    grouchiness
    sleeplessness
    decreased appetite
    anxiety
    cravings
    Behavioral support has been effective in treating marijuana addiction. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives (providing rewards to patients who remain substance free). No medications are currently available to treat marijuana addiction. However, continuing research may lead to new medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse.

  16. Steve says:

    Yet it is still less dangerous, according to the NIH, than alcohol.

  17. Barbara says:

    In what dosage. Today’s marijuana can be very high in THC. Does question 2 propose any restrictions on the level of THC?

    From the federalist.com website article by Robert Tracinsk (who is in favor of legalization)

    “Concentrated THC is not so mellow. As they say, the dose makes the poison, and any drug is a “hard drug” if you take it in sufficient concentration.

    No, THC won’t kill you. But it can kill some of the complacency about drug use. Yes, some pot smokers are the aforementioned mellow hippies, who are no more pathetic than hippies usually are. Others are high-functioning recreational users: educated professionals from Monday to Friday who smoke a little weed on the weekends. But a good number are nihilistic losers who just want to use the drug to crawl into a hole and avoid life. And in high doses, THC can cause severe psychological problems and even induce violent behavior.

    This is a reminder that drug use is a vice, and the first person you sin against is yourself, by wasting some part of your life. Marijuana in particular is famous for being a dumb high, accompanied by watching crappy TV, gobbling junk food, and giggling at lame jokes. Not exactly the way to get the most out of life.”

    As I stated, I think the argument for legalization can be made from a liberty standpoint as Tom has, but don’t try to pretend marijuana use will not have adverse effects on those who use it. Society will have to deal with these effects just as it has the legalization of alcohol. And please don’t use my tax dollars to boot!

  18. Steve says:

    Dosage smosage.
    It is easy to swallow alcohol at a rate it WILL kill you, the nicotine in ONE PACK of cigarettes is enough to KILL you, but even at high concentrations THC doesn’t do that!

    Remember, THC (marijuana) is still the least dangerous of all the “recreational” drugs, yet the MOST dangerous of those are the only legal ones.

    You are arguing for federal prohibition.

  19. Barbara says:

    No I’m not arguing for federal prohibition or legalization. I believe it should be left to the States. Here is an article that says better than I why I and conservatives would oppose legalization.

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/13/freedom-equality-dont-create-good-life/

    “Modern politics is generally framed as a struggle between freedom and equality. But which is the greater end? Although both are important, in accepting either we’ve lowered our sights from the classical ideal of virtue…”

    “Classical philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle recognized the importance of freedom and equality, but regarded the ultimate aim of politics, or the “best regime,” to be the pursuit of the good, or “virtuous,” life. This meant living in accordance with human nature and its needs—which consisted of courage, temperance, wisdom, and justice—and which stood as the highest ideal among political theorists for millennia.”

    “Consider the move toward drug legalization. Advocates celebrate the trend as a victory for freedom. After all, smoking a blunt harms no one except the user. And who are we, as an open society, to tell another how to live his life? Opponents typically say the adverse health effects of marijuana are uniquely dangerous. As the debate reduces to freedom versus health, the appeal to virtue is ignored, the argument for freedom persuades, and we slide toward legalization.

    But this is a colossal mistake. The problem with marijuana use is not its deleterious effects on health, but its power to dilute one’s rational faculties and detach the user from reality, diminishing his ability to be a responsible citizen and to work for the common good.

    In my view, legalization of marijuana is not good public policy.

  20. Steve says:

    That is an opinion column.

    It happens to be wrong as alcohol holds more sway over ones ability to maintain rational facilities.

    Again, as the worst of the drugs are the legal ones, logic dictates the lesser ones should also be legal.

    Though it is good you are for the tenth, question 2 simply makes sense from economic, freedom and health aspects. Specially when considered against the backdrop of the dangers present in legal, recreational, drugs.

  21. Barbara says:

    We have 4 states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Have any of these states shown a savings in law enforcement costs, a drop in crime rates or increased lower medical costs resulting from legalization? Every thing I have read indicates it is too soon to make any correlation between legalization and drug usage, crime rates, etc. Why not delay legalization in NV and let this experiment play out in these other states?

  22. Steve says:

    A fair question.
    Good conservative outlook too.

    Consider;
    Medical pot took 12 years to get implemented here. If q2 passes and the Nevada Legislature reacts in a similar way, there will be plenty of data available well before any recreational pot becomes available in the State of Nevada!
    Hope you enjoyed the snark.

    Here is some more.

    As things currently stand,
    An orange cheeto could become president but a real cheater probably will.
    Refrigerators, DVR’s and lightbulbs have become Skynet
    and
    The Cubs are in the World Series.

    It is very clear, from all the signs, the world will come to an end long before Nevada realizes any commercially available recreational pot even if Q2 passes in November!

  23. Point of fact: NO ONE, not even Benny Binion…has used heroin ALL their life!!! And to say that “the ill effects of heroin have been shown to be nearly 90% caused by the laws against its use” shows the height of naivety and lack of comprehension of how dangerous, addictive and destructive this narcotic is. I know…because I have actually SEEN it in action and witnessed the devastation that it caused. The law that prohibits it’s use…may indeed SAVE lives by putting the addict in a treatment facility or PRISON where it is NOT readily available.

  24. Barbara, as a former marijuana user I concur with your position. I doubt that those defending it’s legalization from a strictly libertarian point of view…have any experience with the drug whatsoever. And the statement that legalization will take it out of the hands of the cartels is also naive…illegal marijuana is still being sold on the streets of Colorado! Why…because it is much cheaper! I fully support the medicinal use of marijuana…and am fully against the legalization of recreational use of this drug…which is 20 – 30 times more potent than the pot from the infamous ’60’s. There is no definitive way to measure the inebriation levels of a stoned driver…we need less impairment on the road…not more! A marijuana stoked driver with a cell phone in their hand is a recipe for disaster…

  25. Steve says:

    Not Benny, Brien.
    Ted Binion was a lifelong heroin user. He suffered very little ill effects from the drug because he could afford food, shelter and medical care. The drug war is what causes 90% of the ill effects of using recreational drugs.
    Everyone in this country has witnessed, if not experienced the effects of the drug war…not the drugs, the war.

    You and I both used to use marijuana. We both stopped. But we both still use alcohol.

    The science is clear, alcohol is the worst drug available, heroin and marijuana are less dangerous. Logic dictates the lesser evils should be treated at least the same as the worst evil.

    Moreover, you are yet another conservative crying that we NEED the NANNY!!

  26. So Benny Binion was shooting up in his bassinet huh? Yeah right…

  27. I don’t still use alcohol…(and I miss the taste of an ice cold beer in the summer and a glass of Merlot with my steak). (Not to mention a Crown Royal and Coke, a Bloody Mary, or a Wild Turkey and water on the rocks…).

  28. Steve says:

    Benny was Teds father, Brien. Benny never had a gaming license because he killed two people in Texas before coming to Nevada.
    Ted lost his gaming license several times for testing positive with heroin.

    Benny was their father….you keep getting it all wrong.

    Including the right vote on Q2! You can vote left if you like the nanny state…I will vote my beliefs.

    No on the nanny state! Yes on 2, 3, 4 and 5 (because I know what crumbling infrastructure looks like)

  29. Rincon says:

    Can anyone tell me why prohibition of alcohol didn’t work and how alcohol prohibition differs from prohibition of other drugs?

  30. So Ted Binion was shooting up heroin while laying in his bassinet huh? I think not…

  31. “After (Ted) Binion lost his license and the family sold the Montana ranch, he became even more involved in drugs, especially marijuana, Xanax, and the street drug tar heroin, which he smoked. He was known to “chase the dragon” (inhale the smoke). The dealers knew when he was around due to the telltale odor of marijuana smoke whenever he used the eye in the sky to keep an eye on the action.” So it seems heroin wasn’t Binion’s only drug of choice…

  32. Steve says:

    And yet, it wasn’t his use of the drugs that killed him. He was murdered by his cheating girlfriend,
    in his mansion and his physical health was just fine. And his mansion wasn’t haunted either.
    Contrary to what the nanny state, you seem to like so much, drug war claims.

    With the stuff being illegal, we are creating the homeless and criminal activity we so wish to limit with those same laws.
    Ouroboros.

  33. I notice that the increase in impaired drivers (with no reliable scientific method to measure the amount of impairment), the increase in underage usage (the further dumbing down of our already failing students), the illicit sale of pot still continuing because of the high cost of “legal marijuana,” the admission that Ted Binion DID NOT use heroin all of his life, etc, etc, etc…remain unchallenged. Only a clanging pot about the nanny state. The same nanny state that will provide a monthly stipend, food stamps, free medical care, and housing & utility allowances…so that the pot smokers can stay home and stay high…while we continue to have to work to support OUR families and theirs too. End that, and I’ll be cheer leading right along with you…when the ones who choose the drug induced lifestyles are forced to deal with their own consequences without being bailed out by the rest of society.

  34. Steve says:

    “the admission that Ted Binion DID NOT use heroin all of his life,”

    Spinmeister.
    You are showing your undying love for the nanny state.

    If made legal, all those things go away. You see, right now, we are doing those things to the people we put in jail for having a joint.

  35. Rincon says:

    I’m reminded of the story about a bunch of learned men who were debating how many teeth are in the mouth of a horse. They argued for 13 days, examining all of the ancient books and chronicles. On the 14th day, a young member of this group suggested that they count the teeth in the mouth of a nearby horse. Horrified, they cast him out of their society.

    Wikipedia lists 17 countries, including ours, that have liberalized drug laws. Shouldn’t their experiences be the most compelling evidence available?

  36. Yes I remember a documentary I saw from Amsterdam that showed the paddy wagon that went to the local park every morning to pick up the bodies of those who had overdosed on heroin the night before…isn’t liberalization great?

  37. Steve says:

    Glad you bring up Amsterdam, Brien.
    There it’s legal, here it isn’t. There the use is far lower.
    Here are some recent, verifiable, facts.
    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Netherlands_v_US

  38. Another reason for voting no on question 2 – the law is supposed to allow a private citizen to cultivate 6 plants for personal use. The kicker is in the fine print…you can’t grow your own if you’re within 25 miles of Marijuana Store/Dispensary…seems this is to benefit Big Marijuana interests from out of state.

  39. Sec. 14. 1. Restrictions on personal cultivation.
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in chapter 453A of NRS, any person who:
    (1) Cultivates marijuana within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store licensed pursuant to sections 1 to 18, inclusive, of this act, unless the person is a marijuana cultivation facility or a person acting in his or her capacity as an agent of a marijuana cultivation facility;
    (2) Cultivates marijuana plants where they are visible from a public place by normal unaided vision; or
    (3) Cultivates marijuana on property not in the cultivator’s lawful possession or without the consent of the person in lawful physical possession of the property;

    (b) Is guilty of:
    (1) For a first violation, a misdemeanor punished by a fine of not more than $600.
    (2) For a second violation, a misdemeanor punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.
    (3) For a third violation, a gross misdemeanor.
    (4) For a fourth or subsequent violation, a category E felony.

  40. Steve says:

    Those restrictions on growing your own are reasonable in that they prevent neighborhoods becoming fields of pot plants. Mostly they effect Clark County. The licensing restrictions limit the total number of stores to 80 here.
    But they don’t prevent anyone from growing plants inside a greenhouse. If you cant see them, they aren’t illegal. Unless someone reports them….kinda like Q1 and the “temporary transfer” restrictions.
    Who is going to turn in a couple neighbors sowing off their collections to each other?

    Yes on 2 no on 1

  41. You fail to acknowledge the most ridiculous restriction…and it’s not at all reasonable. You cannot cultivate your own six plants within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store…which virtually disallows you to “grow your own” anywhere in the Vegas Valley!!! NO on 1, NO on 2, NO on 3, Yes on 4, NO on 5.

  42. Steve says:

    I said that is a good restriction because, at the risk of repeating myself, it prevents whole neighborhoods becoming pot fields.

    Yes on 2 stop supporting the nanny state.

  43. Good grief…NO it prevents EVERYONE from growing ANY Marijuana at ALL!!! Good restriction my butt. “It prevents whole neighborhoods from becoming pot field”…that is so laughable it’s encroaching on ridiculous. That is covered by the other restrictions…has to be out of sight, in a greenhouse or other restricted access space etc…but those are meaningless…because of the 25 mile prohibition.

  44. You want to talk about a nanny state regulation…that’s IT! The nanny state demands that you purchase high price mary jane…from a “for profit” state approved retail marijuana store, rather than having the freedom to grow six plants for your own personal use (grown sight unseen by neighbors and everyone else).

  45. Steve says:

    No, I side with many who don’t want to have whole neighborhoods full of pot plants, six 9 footers per yard makes for a pretty invasive smell.
    Being out of site only means behind a wall and covered…typical tools currently used by people who grow their own now. And that won’t change with this law either, because Metro isn’t going to try and enforce it.
    If that ever were to happen, the legal figh would be interesting to watch….a law preventing people from growing legal plants on their own property…next thing you know all those tomato plants and pear trees will have to go!

    No it doesn’t attempt to prevent everyone from growing it. Only those in concentrated, urban areas. Part of Pahrump is in Clark County, there would be no issue growing plants there.

  46. Steve…defending Nanny State restrictions…and feverishly trying to explain them…”pretty invasive smell”…falling on the floor laughing my arse off. I hope you don’t get a charlie horse twisting yourself into a pretzel to defend the indefensible…good grief.

  47. NO on question 1, NO on question 2, NO on question 3, Yes on question 4, NO on question 5.

  48. Steve says:

    Brien try to claim keeping the whole nanny state is better than eliminating it bit by bit!

    smh

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