In November of 2000, sixty five percent of Nevada voters approved Ballot Question 9 that “removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have written documentation from their physician that marijuana may alleviate his or her condition.” There are, however, limitations on the amount of medical marijuana that can be legally possessed or cultivated. Card carrying patients can possess one ounce of “usable” marijuana and cultivate seven plants without the fear of arrest. Unfortunately, the amending of state drug laws cannot trump federal drug laws. This has been made painfully obvious in the last few years in California, where federal authorities raided several medical marijuana “pharmacies.” The United States Federal Government doesn’t care about the wishes of the majority except during election time.
Apparently, the passing of Ballot Question 9 has ruffled a few feathers in the Nevada State Legislature. Nevada state officials obviously have nothing better to do than to continue to bully the law abiding citizens of the Silver State, because they are at it again. They won’t be happy until everyone in the state who smokes reefer is in prison.
The recently proposed Nevada Senate Bill 262 would increase the penalties for medical marijuana patients who are caught growing more than seven plants. If SB 262 passes legislation, stiff prison sentences would be imposed on anyone who is caught growing eight plants. Seven is fine with state officials, but eight will send you to the Big House. This, of course, is ludicrous. In the most absolute terms that I can convey, I am a supporter of the legalization of the possession and cultivation of any amount of marijuana, medical or otherwise, across the board in all fifty states. But that’s another story for another day.
The fight for the legalization of marijuana is tenuous at best, and the last thing I want is my fellow advocates to exaggerate the cause right out of the courtroom. Instead of fighting this battle with honesty and integrity, some of the over-zealous opponents of Nevada SB 262 are stretching the limits of my patience. In a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal article, Pierre Werner, a man who spent nineteen months in jail on marijuana charges was quoted as saying, “medical marijuana patients need a 24 ounce supply every 90 days.” With this one ridiculous statement, Mr. Werner has buried our fight under the weight of even more myth and misconception.
If Pierre Werner can show me a single person who is actually capable of smoking eight entire ounces of high grade marijuana every thirty days – an average of one ounce every three and a half days – then I will personally introduce him the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Clause. I will also show him the mail I’ve received, postmarked from the lost city of Atlantis. It can’t be done.