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February 2004
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The new legalization tactics in Nevada

Despite a staggering loss in the last attempt in Nevada to legalize marijuana, a new attempt is being made (this is legalization, not decrmininalization or medical use). As the Las Vegas Review Journal notes in this article, the organizers have learned from the last attempt.

You could be excused for thinking that the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana was formed only to “establish a comprehensive system of strict regulation to reduce or eliminate teenage access to marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana, and the smoking of marijuana in public places.” After all, it sounds strict.

But read further, and you’ll get to the heart of the matter: If the committee’s proposed state constitutional amendment passes, those age 21 or older will be allowed to toke up, so long as they do it in private, buy the drug only at an authorized retailer and don’t drive under the influence.

The new approaches have been designed to address every objection (real or imagined) brought up during the last campaign (and there were some ugly challenges). But they’ll still have a battle:

And two, if the prohibitionists were willing to stretch the truth to their own ends last time, they’re not suddenly going to play fair this time.æ There will still be lies, exaggerations and the inevitable visit of drug czar John Walters, campaigning at taxpayer expense.æ But the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana still has the right idea, no matter the changes made to persuade voters that prohibition doesn’t work.

Maybe this time, the voters will see that.

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