Marijuana is once again making headlines in the country and once again, the headlines are all about the legalization of the drug. This time though, things are slightly different. The first thing that will strike you as different in this particular instance of this story is that the ballot being put forward isn’t for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, it’s a ballot to make the drug legal period in the entire state. The ballot being proposed will allow adults aged 21 and older to buy up to an ounce (equivalent to about a pack and a half of cigarettes) from any shop that is licensed to sell tobacco. Certain exceptions apply to this naturally as stores that are within 500 feet of a school or place of worship would be allowed to sell it and gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, casinos, and dance halls would also be banned from selling marijuana.

Also noted on the ballot is that the drug will be properly taxed. Half of all revenue marijuana-related licensing fees and tax revenues to alcohol and drug treatment and education and the other half will go towards the state’s general fund. This alone is expected to boost the state’s general economy by $28 million in annual tax revenues.

The last part of this story that makes it so very different from every other time this story has come up in the headlines is that this time the ballot actually has a chance of passing. An article on MSNBC has reported that at least 33 religious leaders in Nevada have come forward in support of the bill which they say will take drugs out of the hands of children and drug dealers and keep it in the hands of responsible adults. They also praise the commitment for revenue going towards alcohol and drug treatment and education instead of making the drug dealers richer.

The ballot goes to vote in November and if it passes, it will be put in action starting on November 28th of this year. As of the beginning of October, the ballot measure was down by 9 points, 42-51. More recent poll numbers could not be found.

Marijuana on the November 2006 Ballot in Nevada (Marijuana Policy Project)
Nevada Religious Leaders Support Legalization of Marijuana (MSNBC)

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