"Marijuana's evils have always been more hype than substance."

For a bunch of dopers they're sure showing a lot in the initiative department:

After voters statewide approved the proposal twice, the Legislature last
year passed a law that decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of
marijuana. Considering the long list of people who are known to have died
of a marijuana overdose - exactly none - the law makes great good sense.
Marijuana's evils have always been more hype than substance.

Now Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement (NRLE) have submitted over
107,000 signatures on a petition calling for the decriminalization of
possession of three ounces or less. It bans smoking marijuana in public
places, and maintains penalties for underage possession and the sale of
marijuana to minors.

There are already laws on the books for driving under the influence of
alcohol or any substance, so that base is already covered.

State law required 61,336 petition signatures in order for the measure to
be placed on the November ballot, so organizers collected almost twice as
many as they needed in 40 days. In order to change the state constitution,
voters will have to approve the measure both this year and again in 2004.

NRLE spokesman Bill Rogers said that most Nevadans believe that people
should not be arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana. I agree,
but consider this: As a long-time consumer of quality Philip Morris
products that have been known to make me cough, I can assure you that 200
cigarettes (a carton) without the packaging probably doesn't weigh much
more than three ounces. For some people, perhaps more than Rogers and other
members of NRLE might think, three ounces might be pushing what folks
consider to be a small amount.

If they don't, Rogers and Co. can always circulate another petition for
possession of three bales or less.

Pending the certification of the signatures, we'll have a chance to find
out in November.

By the way, I was just kidding about organizers being a bunch of dopers.

We're all in limbo now, waiting for the Nevada Bureau of Health/Division of
Processed Cheese to decide which of two groups will get permission to build
a hospital in Pahrump. I was gratified to learn that four residents spoke
out against the certificate of need application process at last week's CON
hearing.

Requiring a company or group of investors willing to spend their own money
to build and operate a hospital to justify their investment to a
bureaucracy is the height of government arrogance. The fact that it
actually serves to delay construction of a much-needed hospital in the
valley - one that could have been more than half-built by now - makes it an
arrogance that would certainly prompt civil action if anyone other than the
government was imposing the rule.

Nevada government should be doing everything in its power to attract
hospitals to rural areas, not setting up costly, time-consuming stumbling
blocks.

The county commissioners have heard public nuisance complaints in the past,
and generally they've found no nuisance existed, perhaps because the owners
of the problem had already taken steps to address the issue.

Why, then, did the commissioners rule that three public nuisances existed
last week, and that the owners of the property needed to do something about
it? Were the "attractive nuisances" any more attractive than conditions
that prompted previous complaints? Were pigeon and rodent infestations any
worse that one property cited last week?

Beats me. It's seems to me, though, that the folks who were cited were down
on their luck (the commissioners accommodated them in terms of expanded
deadlines for cleanup). A fire that destroyed a home on the lot had
victimized one family; the other bought an old singlewide as an investment
that didn't pan out.

A community with a heart and soul, and so many residents with pickups,
could chip in and help both solve their problems in next to no time if
enough helping hands were involved.


--

Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jun 2002
Source: Pahrump Valley Times (NV)
Copyright: 2002 Pahrump Valley Times
Contact: pvtimeswebinfo@aol.com
Website: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1125
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1531
Author: Rich Thurlow