Legal adult marijuana sales began in Nevada on Saturday, making it the fifth state in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PT, adults 21 and older with a valid ID will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana-infused edibles or concentrates from licensed marijuana retail outlets. Retail marijuana sales will be subject to a 10 percent sales tax, which state officials estimate will generate more than $60 million in the first two years.
Question 2 required the state to initiate adult sales by January 1, 2018, but the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations allowing sales to begin six months earlier through existing licensed medical marijuana outlets. Marijuana possession has been legal for adults 21 and older since Question 2 took effect on January 1, 2017.
MPP's Mason Tvert made the following statement in a press release:
“Legal marijuana sales in Nevada are going to accelerate growth in public support for ending marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said. “Tens of millions of visitors per year from all over the U.S. and around the world will see firsthand that regulating marijuana works. What happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas, but what is learned about marijuana in Vegas will be shared with everyone back home.”
Nevada Sen. Tick Segerblom has introduced a bill that would allow social use of marijuana in certain venues, such as lounges, bars, and coffee shops, as well as at special events. SB 236 would allow local governments to issue permits to businesses and licenses for special events allowing marijuana consumption in designated places.
Social use would be monitored locally and would only allow adults aged 21 and over to publically consume marijuana. SB 236 outlines clear regulatory instructions that social use venues cannot exist within 1000 feet of a school, public park or playground, church, or anywhere that is otherwise viewable from a public place. If passed, SB 236 would become the first state law to address public consumption of marijuana. With legal sales expected to begin soon, SB 236 is increasingly important to ensure consumption can take place in a safe and legal environment.
Fifty-five percent of Nevada voters approved Question 2, legalizing adult use and possession of small quantities of marijuana, and state regulators are demonstrating their commitment to immediately begin complying with the wishes of Nevada citizens by creating rules to establish retail sales by July 1, 2017.
The Culinary Union represents more than 57,000 workers in the state, so this endorsement gives a tremendous boost to our efforts to end marijuana prohibition.
Local 226 knows, as we do, that it is time to stop punishing adults who choose to use marijuana. They also know that passage of Question 2 will take marijuana out of the criminal market and place it in regulated businesses that will create well-paying jobs.
The campaign in support of Question 2 in Nevada has launched a new ad campaign that highlights the ways in which regulating marijuana for adult use would benefit veterans and others who have difficulty accessing marijuana for therapeutic purposes via the existing medical program.
The ads — a statewide TV spot and several billboards appearing across the Las Vegas metro area — feature a Marine Corps veteran who substituted marijuana for prescription painkillers to alleviate pain associated with fractures in his leg began airing recently across Nevada to promote Question 2, which would regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults. The TV ad can be viewed below.
From the press release issued by the Yes on 2 campaign:
State Sen. Patricia Spearman (D – North Las Vegas) added: “As a veteran myself, I am very sympathetic to the plight of veterans who are suffering with pain, PTSD, or any other condition. If marijuana can help these veterans, I think it is our obligation to allow them to obtain the relief they deserve. If VA doctors are unable to provide recommendations to veterans so that they can obtain medical marijuana, there should be another option. A legal, adult-use marijuana market can address that need.”
The campaign in support of Question 2 has recently stepped up its advertising efforts in support of the measure.
The latest video ads focus on the benefits of taxing marijuana sales, which would generate significant new revenue for schools. Previous ads have highlighted support from local and state officials, capitalized on recent political events, and detailed the success of a similar ballot initiative that was adopted in Colorado in 2012.
You can watch all of the ads here on the campaign's website.
Proponents of making marijuana legal in two of Maine’s largest cities, Lewiston and South Portland, have taken their message to the streets to bring more attention to Question 2 before next week’s vote. If the local referendums pass, they would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older.
“We want to draw attention to the important fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol,” explained David Boyer, Maine Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “If adults want to use a safer substance, there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to.”
The Marijuana Policy Project created a mobile billboard to educate voters about their stance on the referendum. The organization argues that marijuana is safer than alcohol and that adults 21 and older should be allowed to use it. They also hope that the message draws the attention of voters to have their voices heard.
“It is not a presidential year, enthusiasm is not that high among the electorate, but with this issue people register for the first time, they come out to vote for the first time,” said Boyer. “We hear it down in South Portland, we see it here in Lewiston, people are fired-up to vote for this and not much else.”
If you are a Lewiston or South Portland resident, please take the initiative and go out and vote to implement a more sensible marijuana policy in your towns on November 4. Encourage family, friends, and neighbors to do the same! For voter information, visit Maine.gov.
The Portland Press Herald reported that advocates of making marijuana legal kicked off a campaign yesterday in support of upcoming votes on the issue in Lewiston and South Portland.
The advocates, led by the Marijuana Policy Project, held a rally at Kennedy Park for those in favor of Lewiston’s Question 2, which would make the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older.
“Every day more and more people support making marijuana legal,” said David Boyer, Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “They see it makes more sense to have marijuana regulated instead of keeping it legal.”
Boyer also said the campaign in Lewiston is hoping to mobilize young voters, especially Bates College students, to the cause.
“Younger folks see that marijuana prohibition hasn’t worked. It’s done nothing to stop the flow of marijuana into our communities. They see the effects of marijuana and alcohol firsthand and they realize that marijuana is safer than alcohol,” Boyer stated.
Alexandra Gwillim, a Bates College freshman, joined Boyer at the campaign yesterday.
[S]he said she supports the campaign because, “I think the prohibition of marijuana perpetuates the binge-drinking culture of college. Legalizing marijuana is a good way to end that.”
The campaign intends to increase its presence in Lewiston during the next month as part of an ongoing effort to educate voters about the advantages of ending marijuana prohibition.
Last week, we discussed the near record number of arrests for simple marijuana possession in 2010, and how no matter how many people we arrest for marijuana violations, the rates of use are unaffected.
Just to put that in perspective, it turns out that last year was the second biggest year for marijuana arrests in United States history!
Check it out:
It is very disturbing to see how far the actions of our law enforcement community really are from public opinion and actual rational thought when it comes to policy. The year with the second highest number of arrests in national history came simultaneously with an increased acceptance of marijuana use and an increase in public support for change. How does this make sense?
The good news is that we can stop this by supporting state and national reform measures in any way possible. While exact statistics aren’t available yet, it is certain that a noticeable percentage of the decrease in arrests over the last two years was due to MPP’s Question 2 passing in Massachusetts and going into effect in 2009. This initiative removed criminal penalties for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and replaced the criminal penalty with the equivalent of a parking ticket. If we keep working together to pass sane, rational marijuana laws, we can make that number drop before next year.