Arizona is still early in the process of opening dispensaries. Sen. Tick Segerblom [D-Las Vegas] of Nevada said there are concerns in Nevada that opening dispensaries there could open room for abuse, especially by minors.
“I figure that if Arizona can do it — the most conservative state in the country — there’s no reason that Nevada can’t do it,” Segerblom said.
Four Nevada senators and an assembly member visited Arizona Organix on Friday, then traveled to the state Capitol to meet with Arizona legislators.
Bill Myer, an owner and director at Arizona Organix, called the visit “fantastic.” He showed visitors cultivation facilities and varied security measures.
“They were taking notes fast and furiously,” Myer said.
As we discussed on Friday, Segerblom introduced SB 374 to address this legal contradiction. Under the Nevada Constitution, patients are allowed to use medical marijuana... But there's currently no way to legally obtain it other than growing it oneself. And not everyone can operate a marijuana farm. And even those who grow their own marijuana face challenges because there's an arbitrary one ounce limit and no legal way to access seeds.
And now, there's another reason why legislators will need to take on SB 374 and this overall issue. Also on Friday, the ACLU filed suit against the state.
In a brief filed Friday with the Nevada Supreme Court, the ACLU says the law makes criminals of people “who make reasonable efforts” to obtain medical marijuana. While medical marijuana is legal in Nevada, it cannot legally be purchased. [...]
The ACLU brief supports the decision of Clark County District Court Judge Donald Mosley, who ruled the Nevada law invalid in the case of two men indicted in connection with the operation of a nonprofit co-op to dispense the drug.
“There is no practical way to obtain medical marijuana in the state of Nevada,” said Katrina M. Ross, staff attorney for the ACLU in Las Vegas. She noted that in 1998 voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow a person, upon the advice of a physician, to obtain medical marijuana for use in a variety of illnesses, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV and multiple sclerosis.
The brief says the two men indicted by a Clark County grand jury “were prosecuted for behavior that is constitutionally protected.”
After Mosley dismissed the indictment, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, which has not yet set a hearing date.
I had a feeling this was coming. It was likely inevitable. Again, the problem lies in the contradiction in Nevada law. While patients have the right to medical marijuana treatment under the Nevada Constitution, the Clark County DA's office and other prosecutors are using the lack of clarity on how to access that treatment to actually prosecute patients seeking treatment and retailers providing that treatment.
Last year, two Clark County judges issued contradictory rulings while Metro & the DA's office ordered raids into medical marijuana providers. Again, this is supposed to be legal medicine under the Nevada Constitution! Yet instead, patients & providers live in fear of police raids, arrests, prosecutions, and costly law suits. Something must change.
And that's why #NVLeg can no longer ignore this issue. In the past, it was dismissed as a simple laughing matter. Even last week, some legislators were joking about "joint committee", "natural resources committee", and "high court". Yet while those legislators were joking and snickering, real people were likely being harassed by police and the DA's office over what's supposed to be legal medicine.
So something must change. Perhaps this convergence of issues & stories will finally force the Nevada Legislature to act. That, after all, seems to be par for the course in Carson City.