Nevada Legislators Consider Recreational Pot

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CARSON CITY -- Could decriminalizing marijuana help fund Nevada's public education system? Assemblymember Joe Hogan (D-Las Vegas) has introduced a measure to tax marijuana from growers to buyers.

"We propose to establish a system in which a product is grown in Nevada, processed in Nevada, and sold in Nevada for personal use, will be taxed by Nevada," Hogan told a committee of the assembly on Friday.

"(The bill creates) an effective Nevada educational enhancement trust fund," Assemblymember Andrew Martin (D-Las Vegas) said.

Supporters of the idea testified decriminalizing pot would bring tourists into the state and help the business community.

However, critics argued money raised from a marijuana tax could be taken by the federal government. They also testified marijuana is a dangerous drug.

A representative of the Nevada District Attorneys Association said many users of the most dangerous drugs have also used marijuana. She also said drug lords would not be put out of business by the measure, as they would undercut the shop-price of the drug.

The bill would mandate marijuana users be at least 21. It states using the drug and driving would remain against the law. Workplaces would also not have to accommodate drug use.

Nevada voters as recently as 6 years ago rejected the idea of recreational marijuana.

Voters have approved use of the drug for medical purposes. A different bill being considered this session would create dispensaries for medical marijuana users to obtain the drug.