The Nevada legislature is expected to let voters decide whether to regulate marijuana like alcohol which would make cannabis, or marijuana, possession and sale for recreational use in Nevada legal as early as November of next year. Nevada already has decriminalized possession of the substance for people 21 and older and it is legal for medical use in the state. However, possession of marijuana is still a misdemeanor and the sale of it is still a felony. Currently, the law in Nevada make the first offense of marijuana possession of 1 ounce or less of a $600 fine. Subsequent offenses go up to $5,000 or even jail terms.
According to Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, “Voters will have the opportunity to end marijuana prohibition next year and replace it with a policy that actually makes sense. Regulating marijuana like alcohol will make Nevada safer by replacing the underground marijuana market with a tightly controlled system of licensed businesses. The initiative will create a significant new source of funding for Nevada schools. Marijuana sales that are currently taking place in the underground market are generating revenue for cartels. In a regulated market, marijuana sales will generate revenue for students.”
The initiative would make possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. The Nevada Department of Taxation will be responsible for the regulation and licensing of facilities that grow, manufacture, test, sell and distribute marijuana and its derived products. Local governments also will get to decide where these facilities can be located. A 15 percent excise tax will be applied to wholesale marijuana sales and the revenue from the taxes will be channeled in the Distributive School Account, which funds K-12 education in Nevada. Retail sales will be subject to general state and local sales taxes.