The wording for the November ballot question that would make possession of
small amounts of marijuana legal in Nevada has been released by the
secretary of state's office.

Secretary of State Dean Heller on Tuesday released the final language that
includes the question, explanation and brief arguments for and against
passage. It is posted on the office's website at

The question as it will appear on the ballot reads:

"Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to allow the use and possession
of up to three ounces or less of marijuana by persons aged 21 years or
older, to require the Legislature to provide or maintain penalties for
using, distributing, selling or possessing marijuana under certain
circumstances and to provide a system of regulation for the cultivation,
taxation, sale and distribution of marijuana?"

A "yes" answer means a voter wants to amend the state Constitution to
legalize possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana by adults.

Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick, an opponent of the measure,
said early today he had not read the final wording and said Heller's office
didn't ask him for help on the argument against passage.

Attempts to reach the Clark County District Attorney Stewart Bell and a
spokesman for the Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement were not successful.

The explanation by Heller's office says in part that the proposal also
requires "distribution of marijuana at low cost to those medically
authorized to use it."

The measure also prohibits advertising of marijuana and requires the
purchase of the drug from "licensed establishments." The retail sales tax
is to be the same "as those of other products generally," the explanation says.

The argument for passage says proponents feel it is a "waste of tax
dollars" to arrest people for small amounts of marijuana and that passage
would allow police to focus on more serious crimes. They argue that
marijuana has "fewer harmful side effects" than alcohol and tobacco.

The arguments against passage call marijuana a "gateway drug" to harder
drugs and that refocusing of law enforcement resources would be outweighed
by increased health costs.

If the question is approved in November, it must pass again in 2004 to
become law.

Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV)
Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Sun, Inc
Author: Ed Koch
Cited: Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement ( )
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Nevadans for Responsible Law
Bookmark: (Question 9 (NV))