Monthly Archive: August 2016

Pipe Dream and Smoke Screen for Big Marijuana?

Proponents of legalizing and commercializing recreational marijuana are trying to convince Nevada’s voters in November that getting government involved in the marijuana business will be good for the Silver State. Will it?

Following are the arguments for voting “No” on Question 2 that myself and two other members of the public submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. You will find this 400-word argument and a 200-word counter argument to proponent’s claims, on your November ballot.

Please consider…

Voting No on 2

Vote NO on Question 2. It’s bad for Nevada’s children, bad for Nevada’s families, and bad for Nevada’s taxpayers.

Question 2 is about one thing–making out-of-state pot companies rich at your expense. It will bring marijuana stores to your neighborhood allowing kid-friendly, pot gummy bears and candies. It also allows the selling of high-potency pot–today’s pot is more than 20 times stronger than the marijuana of the 1960s. It gives shadowy corporations and Nevada’s alcohol industry special monopoly-like powers, at the expense of ordinary Nevadans. Question 2 is funded and supported by special interests in Washington, D.C., who simply want to get rich.

More specifically:

  • Question 2 would allow marijuana shops in neighborhoods–where your children live–to sell pot-laced edibles that are easily mistaken for ordinary candy. Since Colorado legalized pot, marijuana use by youth is now ranked 56% higher than the national average. Studies show THC, the psychoactive component in today’s marijuana has devastating effects on the developing teenage brain. So Question 2 isn’t about protecting children, and would provide children with easier access to marijuana.
  • Question 2 would permit new pot products with high potency levels. Fatal accidents involving stoned drivers have more than doubled in Washington where pot has been legalized. Question 2 isn’t about public health and safety. It’s about marketing a harmful drug to people for profit.
  • Studies show teenagers who regularly use marijuana–have lower IQs and higher dropout rates, and do worse on college entrance exams. Nevada is currently near the bottom of most U.S. rankings in education. At a time when skilled graduates are needed to fill Nevada jobs–we can’t afford to fall any further.
  • Question 2 would give special treatment and benefits to undisclosed corporate interests and select alcohol companies involved in recreational marijuana sales. So Question 2 isn’t about business opportunities for average Nevadans, but about corporate handouts to a privileged few.

The black market for pot will not go away by legalizing marijuana. “We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado [and] plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all,” said Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman.

Bottom line: Legalizing marijuana will send a message to Nevada’s children and teens that drug use is acceptable.

Question 2 is bad for Nevada’s children, bad for Nevada’s families, and bad for Nevada’s taxpayers.

Supporters of recreational marijuana legalization claim that passage of Question 2 will do the following:

  • Tax marijuana sales to provide money for schools
  • Legalize sales to stop the black market and criminals
  • Regulate marijuana and allow local controls

In fact–arguments against Question 2 that you’ll see on your November ballot–challenge both the “pipe dream” and the “smoke screen,” that Big Marijuana is trying to foist on Nevada.

Question 2 is nothing more than a power grab from mostly out-of-state special interests who want to get rich. It even legalizes pot candies and allows pot advertising.

This initiative lets marijuana businesses line their pockets while the black market thrives. Legalization has done nothing to end the black market in Colorado, and has even allowed Mexican cartels to hide in plain sight. In Denver, drug and narcotics crime rose an average of 13% per year since legalization in 2014.

Question 2 also isn’t about personal freedom–instead, it makes it a crime to home-cultivate pot within 25 miles of a store, and it doesn’t even allow for local “opt-out” provisions as Colorado did.

Enriching marijuana business executives won’t be a boon for K-12 education. Projected annual tax revenues from pot sales won’t be enough to build even one Nevada middle school. Exposing children to industrially produced, kid-friendly pot gummy bears is not worth it.

Finally, Nevada’s taxpayers don’t need a new government-run bureaucracy with troubling long-term societal costs.

At the end of the day, Question 2 benefits Big Marijuana at your expense. Vote NO–it’s bad for Nevada’s children, families, and taxpayers.

By way of disclosure, I serve as the Nevada Coordinator for Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM Action).