NV: ACLU Fires Up Nevada Medical Marijuana Access As Unconstitutional

Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by Monterey Bud, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Monterey Bud

    Monterey Bud Administrator Staff Member

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada weighed in Friday on the state’s medical marijuana law, calling it unconstitutional because it doesn’t allow patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana to legally obtain it.

    The filing Friday in the Nevada Supreme Court involving a Clark County case comes on the same day that a handful of state legislators visited a medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix to see how Arizona implemented its medical marijuana law.

    Nevada voters approved medical marijuana in 2000. But under existing law, patients essentially have to grow their own because there is no legal way to acquire it.

    Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, organized the fact-finding trip. Lawmakers are paying their own way.

    Segerblom is sponsoring SB374, a bill that would authorize and regulate nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries to serve about 3,600 Nevadans with medical marijuana cards.

    “We’re going to hear lots of reasons why we can’t do it, we shouldn’t do it, but to me, if Arizona, which is the most conservative state in the country, can do it, then Nevada can do it,” Segerblom told the Las Vegas Sun.

    “It’s not a junket. It’s not taxpayer money, but it is a legitimate working trip to see it in person.”

    Traveling with Segerblom were senators Mark Hutchison, R-Las Vegas; Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas; David Parks, D-Las Vegas; Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas; and Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, R-Las Vegas.

    While their the lawmakers toured state section medical marijuana collectives...

    Co-owner Bill Mayer said the dispensary sees about 100 patients per day. An eighth of an ounce of one variety of marijuana sells for $55.

    Mayer also said the dispensary has paid more than $100,000 in sales taxes since it began selling marijuana in December.

    Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 2010. About 30,000 people there have medical marijuana cards.

    A court challenge blaming the Nevada Legislature for a poorly written medical marijuana law adds gravity to the trip. A judge called the current laws “ridiculous” in a case that’s before the Nevada Supreme Court.

    The ACLU brief supports the decision of Clark County District Court Judge Donald Mosley, who ruled the Nevada law invalid in the case of two men indicted in connection with the operation of a nonprofit co-op to dispense the drug.

    “There is no practical way to obtain medical marijuana in the state of Nevada,” said Katrina M. Ross, staff attorney for the ACLU in Las Vegas.

    The brief says the two men indicted by a Clark County grand jury “were prosecuted for behavior that is constitutionally protected.”

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