More voices have recently joined the ACLU of Nevada over the paradoxical nature of Nevada’s medical marijuana laws. Judge Donald Mosley recently dismissed a medical marijuana indictment and recognized Nevada medical marijuana laws as "confusing and difficult to understand." Defense attorney Robert Draskovich suggested the state better allocate its limited resources and not focus on re-criminalizing something that the legislature long ago attempted to regulate and make non-criminal. Medical marijuana cardholder Robert Weidenfeld also noted that it is virtually impossible for a legitimately registered patient to obtain the medicinal herb in order to treat chronic pain. Most recently, Las Vegas Weekly writer J. Patrick Coolican expressed similar dissatisfaction with the ambiguity of the current laws governing medical marijuana.
These voices echo what the ACLU of Nevada consistently said during the 2011 legislative session - the lack of a comprehensive plan to manufacture, distribute, and allow for the use of medical marijuana is alarming, especially since Cannabis (marijuana) was legalized for medical purposes in Nevada via a constitutional amendment over a decade ago. The 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature has a clear duty to clarify a means for medical patients to obtain their medicine and review the criteria by which the system must be implemented. And although the ACLU would not take a position on its taxation or the regulation on the quality of the herb, these two considerations may also be prime for the Legislature’s consideration.
During this last legislative session, small steps were taken toward initiating medical marijuana reform. Three independent bills were proposed - two of the bills died without receiving a hearing and the third failed to meet the final deadline - indicating the issue is drawing more attention and the need to address it is becoming more apparent. Unfortunately, a giant step back was also taken when the legislature passed the Governor’s budget, which redirected funds away from the medical marijuana program to other portions of the health and human services budget, leaving the medical marijuana program in the lurch.
The ACLU of Nevada continues to call for a reform to the Nevada medical marijuana laws and will keep our ears open as more voices join in. If you are a patient or caregiver who has been negatively affected by our medical marijuana laws, please file a complaint with us at www.aclunv.org/complaint.