Monday, March 3, 2014

Because It Works

We've been waiting quite some time for this. After years of ballot initiatives, legal challenges, and legislation, medical marijuana is closer than ever to becoming fully legal in Nevada. Nine months after SB 374 was signed into law, Clark County is preparing zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

So why is this important? Clark County is the first Southern Nevada municipal government to consider medical marijuana dispensary regulations. And that means Clark County may be the first Southern Nevada municipal government to legally sanction the sale of medical marijuana.

Even with the state legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries, the City of Henderson has banned them while the City of Las Vegas has been dragging its feet in issuing dispensary regulations and most of the rest of the state's municipal governments have been sitting on their hands. So it's a big (f**king) deal that Clark County is moving forward in allowing dispensaries.

But why is this such a big deal? Why should local governments cater to potheads' desires to get stoned? Believe it or not, this is about more than just "potheads getting stoned". This is about patients accessing the treatment they need.

Like it or not, some patients use marijuana as medicine... Because it works. What hasn't worked, on the other hand, is the War on Drugs. While many of the above mentioned potheads have been subjected to long, expensive, and nonsensical prison sentences, multinational drug cartels continue to thrive in the violence plagued black market. The cartels truly have been the only ones "winning" the War on Drugs.

In the big picture of the War on Drugs, Clark County's consideration of dispensary regulations may not seem like a big deal. However, it will be should Clark County adopt new regulations. After decades of criminalizing people who are just looking for treatment that works, Nevada has the chance to move in a different direction... And start implementing sensible drug policies that work.

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