On Election Night 2016 voters in Nevada approved Question 2, which allows adults 21 years of age and older who are not already part of the state’s medical marijuana program to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and/or up to 3.5 grams of concentrates. Adults are also allowed to grow up to 6 plants at home as long as they are more than 25 miles away from a marijuana retail shop. These things are now officially legal in NV.
“What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “Voters in the western region of the United States are leading the way toward the eventual nationwide re-legalization of marijuana by responsible adults. Federal laws need to reflect this reality, not deny it.”
While California was the biggest prize last election cycle when it comes to cannabis law reform, Nevada is big in its own right as a state that is flooded with tens of millions of tourists every year. That will result in huge sales to people who use cannabis but do so illegally in their home state. And it may give those people another reason to book that trip to Vegas or Reno that they have been putting off.
The bottom line is that Nevada’s economy depends on tourist dollars and legalization is only going to enhance the state’s ability to draw people in and get them to spend money. Retail shops will open, creating more jobs and increasing the available supply of legal cannabis. Nevada’s economy will benefit immensely, perhaps more so than any other legal state besides California.
And beyond all the economic advantages, legalization in Nevada means millions of people have freedoms they didn’t have before, and that’s always a good thing. They will no longer be punished for possessing and using marijuana in their own home.
The 25-mile “halo rule” is disappointing; after all, retail shops don’t need protection from the competition of home growing and adults should be allowed to grow cannabis in their own home no matter where they live within the state. Hopefully that is a part of the new law that will be improved down the line.