Oct. 14, 2016
Kathy Bartosz, 841-4730 kathy@partnershipcarsoncity.org


Partnership Carson City advises the community on issues of health and well-being for youth and families.  In this year’s election, Nevada voters will consider an initiative that would legalize marijuana.  That initiative is known as Question 2.  The Steering Committee of Partnership Carson City urges all voters to review the details of this proposal and consider the immediate and long-term impacts it may have on our community before making this important choice.

The proposal would legalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for recreational use by individuals 21 and older.  Some say legalization is long overdue and an opportunity to redirect resources to fight other, more destructive, criminal conduct.  But there’s much more involved in Question 2 than many may realize.  Voters should consider how legalization of the drug will be implemented.

Question 2:

• will not allow for local control of recreational marijuana. If passed, Question 2 will not permit local jurisdictions to “opt out” of legalization.  Like it or not and ready or not, every community in Nevada would be legally compelled to allow possession and use of marijuana.  Every community in Nevada would be legally compelled to allow cultivation, testing, and manufacturing facilities as well as distribution and retail establishments.  Carson City voters should consider whether our community is ready for that.

• is not as consistent with Nevada’s “live and let live” philosophy as you might think.  Passage of Question 2 would make it a crime to grow marijuana plants for your own consumption if you live within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store.  Safe enough to legalize and commercialize, but not safe enough to let adults grow their own?

• legalizes more than marijuana ingested by smoking.  Question 2 would legalize all forms of marijuana including edible gummy bears, lollipops, soda, mints, and even lip balm.  Also, there wouldn’t be any restrictions on potency.  THC is marijuana’s active ingredient, and researchers have measured massive increases in THC levels of legalized marijuana as compared with marijuana confiscated over previous years.

In addition to the deficiencies in the Question 2 initiative outlined above, Nevadans should view with alarm the experience of states that recently have legalized recreational marijuana.

According to the most recent Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area report (September 2016), Colorado (which legalized marijuana in 2014) has seen:

•    48% increase in marijuana related traffic deaths in the three year average.

•    Of all drug related school expulsions and suspensions in 2015-2016, 63% were related to marijuana.

•    Number of hospitalizations related to marijuana rose from 6,305 in 2011 to 11,439 in 2014.

•    Youth marijuana use increased 20% from 2011/2012 to 2013/2014.

•    168 children treated for marijuana poisoning. The average age was 2.5 years old.

•    Colorado adult marijuana use for 2013/2014 was 104% higher than the national average.

•    Overall crime increase of 12.3%.

Question 2 calls for a dramatic and historic choice by Nevada voters.  To prepare for this important choice, Partnership Carson City Steering Committee urges all voters to educate themselves on the details of Question 2 as well as the experience of Colorado since legalization.