CARSON CITY, Nev. --- Today, on the steps of the State Capitol building, the campaign manager for Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, Dave Schwartz, unveiled the details of a proposed 2012 ballot initiative to establish a taxed and regulated marijuana market in the state of Nevada.
The press conference occurred immediately after Schwartz submitted the initiative petition to the Secretary of State. Submission to the Secretary of State is a prerequisite to circulating the petition throughout the state. The campaign will need to collect 97,002 valid signatures by November 2010 in order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.
The initiative proposes a closed and regulated system for marijuana distribution. Adults aged 21 and older would be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and would be able to purchase marijuana from approximately 120 retail stores spread throughout the state.
The Department of Taxation would license 50 suppliers to cultivate and distribute marijuana. Marijuana would be subject to a $50 per ounce excise tax at the wholesale level and to state and local sales tax at the retail level. (For more information, see “About the Initiative” at www.SensibleMarijuanaLaws.org).
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“We believe this initiative, if adopted by the voters, would give Nevada the best marijuana laws in the world,” Schwartz said. “The system would make it more difficult for minors to purchase marijuana, as the drug would be sold in stores where owners and employees demand proof of age. It would generate much-needed tax revenue for the state, steering profits away from drug cartels and gangs and into the hands of legitimate Nevada businesses. And it would establish regulations related to the packaging and labeling of marijuana, so individuals know that the marijuana they purchase is free of additives or contaminants.
“Most importantly, a legal marijuana market would provide adults with a safer recreational alternative to alcohol. It is objectively true that alcohol is more addictive, more toxic, and more likely to produce aggressive and violent behavior than marijuana. Adults who understand these truths and choose to use marijuana instead of alcohol should not be punished. The system we propose would eliminate penalties for adult marijuana users and would provide them with safe access to their recreational substance of choice.”