Nevada

Medical marijuana by state.

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Nevada

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:33 am

The Las Vegas Sun wrote:June 21, 2006

Fallon newspaper endorses Nevada marijuana initiative

The Las Vegas Sun
By SANDRA CHEREB
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A newspaper in rural northern Nevada has given a surprising endorsement to a ballot measure to decriminalize adult possession of limited amounts of marijuana through regulation and taxation.

"In a state where prostitution is legal in certain counties, bars are not required to close and children can legally possess and use tobacco, objections to marijuana legalization on a moral basis seem hypocritical," the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard said in a Tuesday editorial.

"Those who view marijuana as a blight on society have yet to offer an effective solution of how to stop its spread through society or better fund law enforcement. Continuation of the ill-funded, halfhearted campaigns of the past is little more than veiled acceptance of its current widespread and illegal use."

State Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, said he was surprised by newspaper's support for the Nov. 7 ballot question.

"It surprised me that a rural newspaper would do that," he said, noting northern Nevada's typical conservative political leanings.

But Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said rural Nevada often shows its independent backbone.

"I wouldn't have predicted it, but it's not one where I'm shocked," he said.

"Rural Nevada, while often thought to be conservative, is often more libertarian. They don't like government intervention," Herzik said.

"They're not endorsing the use of marijuana, but instead saying 'Why don't we treat this as we do many other vices in Nevada' - which is to accept them," Herzik said.

Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing marijuana use for medical purposes in 1998 and 2000. Two years later, they rejected efforts by national advocates to allow adult possession of up to 3 ounces for non-medical use.

The latest proposal would allow adults to possession up to 1 ounce.

The newspaper's endorsement was hailed by the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, which was thwarted in a first attempt for a constitutional amendment by not gathering enough signatures to qualify for the 2004 ballot.

After that, the organization took another route, gathering enough signatures to present the issue to the 2005 Legislature. The measure automatically qualified for this year's ballot after lawmakers failed to act within 40 days.

"Rather than spending millions of taxpayer dollars arresting marijuana users, the state of Nevada should instead generate millions of dollars by taxing and regulating marijuana, and earmark part of these revenues to prevent and treat the abuse of marijuana, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs," the initiative says.

The state would license wholesalers and retailers to sell the drug. Each would pay $1,000 for an initial license and $1,000 annually for the permit.

It also would increase penalties for driving under the influence and restrict where pot could be sold.

Neal Levine, campaign manager for the sponsoring committee, said if approved by voters, Nevada would be the first to tax and regulate marijuana statewide.

"What we're proposing is really sort of a mainstream, common sense policy," Levine said, adding that the endorsement supports the group's argument that prosecuting pot smokers doesn't work and is a waste of police resources.

McGinness said he opposes the idea, and thinks most rural voters will too. He said he believes marijuana is an entry drug that leads some people to other drugs with harsher consequences, like cocaine and methamphetamine.

"I know there are people out there who scoff at the idea that one leads to another," McGinness said.

The editorial dismissed the argument.

"The same could be said of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sex or any other activity that stimulates the brain's pleasure zones," it said. "Some of the above mentioned activities are legal and regulated in Nevada. In fact, the state's most powerful industry caters to those same visceral pleasures."

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Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:39 am

The Lahonta Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard wrote:Letter: TIME FOR LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IS NOW

The Lahonta Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard

July 8, 2006

As a member of Nevada's Marijuana Policy Project from the start of this initiative, it is with gratefulness that I thank, and most of all laud, your recent editorial in support of our efforts. Your editorial has received national attention.

Any rational person would concede that our present laws don't work, and as is the case with medical marijuana, have become so cumbersome so as to deny medicine to our sick citizens. It seems we have more to fear from knee-jerk authoritarian government than we do from pot. Even the August Federal Probation Report has stated that the biggest danger in using and possessing marijuana came from the laws against it.

The legal philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote long ago that we must always apply scrutiny to our laws, lest they become anachronistic and useless and then lead to the law's mockery, due only from former convention or compulsion.

The time for marijuana's legalization has come. Let's all vote yes this November, and in doing so, send a loud message to those folks in Washington, that yes, even in "rural" Nevada, we know a bad law when we see one.

Al Engleman

Fallon

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Marijuana legalization? No thanks

Postby budman » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:27 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Marijuana legalization? No thanks

Guy W. Farmer
Special to the Appeal
July 16, 2006


When the Appeal last month republished an editorial from Fallon's Lahontan Valley News endorsing a ballot initiative that would legalize small amounts of marijuana, the potheads rejoiced on the Appeal's Web site. But they must have been disappointed a few days later when Editor Barry Ginter reiterated this paper's longtime opposition to drug legalization.

"There may be some readers under the impression that the Appeal ... has endorsed a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana," Ginter wrote. "We haven't." He rejected arguments calling pot a "harmless drug" and favored "whatever option results in the least amount of marijuana being used in Nevada," which sounds reasonable to me. Because, as my loyal readers know, I'm adamantly opposed to the legalization of marijuana and other dangerous drugs.

The potheads will surely criticize me yet again for labeling marijuana as a dangerous drug, but don't take my word for it. Earlier this year, studies by Minnesota's respected Mayo Clinic found that regular marijuana use can cause health problems ranging from memory loss to cancer. Specifically, clinic researchers reported that pot smoking can inhibit short-term memory; reduce hand-eye coordination, reaction time and muscle strength; limit attention span; increase the risk of schizophrenia, and may even cause paranoia, anxiety and/or panic attacks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reinforced those findings in April by declaring that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and has a lack of safety for use under medical supervision. The FDA further determined that pot smoking is harmful and that there are no sound scientific studies supporting the safety or efficacy of "medical" marijuana. Other than that, the drug is completely safe.

A recent investigative report by the Des Moines (Iowa) Register warned that "today's marijuana is at least 10 times more potent than it was in the 1970s," and quoted the Iowa Crime Lab as saying that 21st century pot produces "a stronger, longer-lasting high whose effects reach far beyond the so-called 'munchies' and drowsiness" caused by earlier, milder forms of the drug. Iowa Drug Czar Marvin Van Haaften added that today's marijuana contains THC (the main active chemical in the drug) levels of more than 20 percent, compared to average THC levels of two percent in the 1970s.

Van Haaften echoed an earlier warning by House Drug Policy Subcommittee Chairman Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who urged Congress to oppose marijuana legalization initiatives in several states, including Nevada. "Marijuana is a gateway drug," he wrote in a letter to fellow lawmakers. "Far from being a 'benign' substance, marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug that is frequently the first step into the abyss of lifelong drug addiction." He based his comments on a recent study by the University of Otago, New Zealand, Medical School, which concluded that "there is a clear tendency for those using cannabis (marijuana) to have higher rates of usage of other illicit drugs," including methamphetamine, which is destroying lives in Nevada and elsewhere around the country.

The Reno Gazette-Journal recently published an in-depth report on the devastating impact of methamphetamine on the youth of Northern Nevada. According to a 2005 survey by the State Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, some 10 percent of Washoe County high school students and five percent of middle school students had tried meth at least once, creating a pool of thousands of potential teenage meth addicts in our area.

But what really got my attention was how many of the young drug users interviewed by the RG-J had experimented with marijuana before turning to meth. The anecdotal evidence that pot is a gateway drug contradicts claims by the Washington, D.C.-based, George Soros-financed Marijuana Policy Project, which is pushing drug legalization initiatives in Nevada and several other states. I'm pleased to report, however, that a similar MPP-sponsored Nevada ballot measure was defeated by a 60-40 margin two years ago and hope that my fellow voters will again say no to drugs in November.

The RG-J cited the instructive case of 17-year-old Cyndle Bell, of Carson City, whose tragic story was first made public when the Appeal's Teri Vance wrote that Ms. Bell "started drinking at 11 and smoking pot at 12, before meth almost destroyed her life. Her experience coincides with what local Justice of the Peace John Tatro told me two years ago - that at least half of the meth abusers who appeared in his court also tested positive for marijuana.

So let me reiterate a question I posed earlier this year: "If marijuana smoking can lead to the chronic use and abuse of meth and other more addictive drugs, and if meth is the No. 1 law enforcement priority in our city (which it is), what sense does it make to legalize possession of 'small' amounts of marijuana?" None, as far as I can see, which is why I'm encouraged to know that my opinion is shared by many community leaders including Mayor Marv Teixeira and Sheriff Ken Furlong, both of whom have had to deal with meth addiction problems in their own families. I wish them well and offer my support in their high-profile campaign to combat the plague of illegal drugs in Carson City.

<hr>
• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, participated in the War on Drugs in seven countries during his 28-year U.S. Foreign Service career.



There were a number of excellent responses to this Op-Ed. Check them out here
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Prosecutor: 'Medical marijuana' user was growing to sell

Postby budman » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:24 pm

Court TV News wrote:Prosecutor: 'Medical marijuana' user was growing to sell

By Matt Pordum
Court TV
August 10, 2006


<table class=posttable align=right width=200><tr><td class=postcell><img class=postimg src=bin/werner-pierre.jpg></td></tr><tr><td class=postcap>Pierre Werner claims he was within his rights as a licensed medical marijuana user to possess the pot he had in his home.</td></tr></table>LAS VEGAS — Medical marijuana dispute or simple drug possession case?

A prosecutor trying a Nevada man for felony possession clearly believes it's the latter, and perhaps to illustrate his point, took less than four minutes to deliver his opening statements Wednesday.

Deputy District Attorney Roy Nelson said there is "no question" that 35-year-old Pieree Werner is properly charged and should be convicted for felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Werner, however, contends he was within his rights as a licensed medical marijuana user in Nevada not only to grow and possess the pot, but also to sell it to other licensed users in the state.

He rejected an offer by prosecutors to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and instead decided to risk the possibility of a one- to three-year prison sentence if convicted by the jury this week.

Nelson said that officers patrolling Werner's street on Jan. 17, 2004, saw trash cans turned over and damage done to both Werner's car and his neighbor's car.

On that basis, the officers performed a welfare check inside Werner's home and discovered what they "believed were marijuana plants," Nelson said.

After the officers secured a search warrant for both Werner's home and car they returned to find "over 30 mature plants, a scale, venting fan, heating lights and venting hoses."

Nelson said the officers also found "things to grow marijuana and baggies and scales that indicated to them he was selling."

The prosecutor said that, although Werner is licensed to use medical marijuana, state law only allows a licensed user to possess one ounce, three mature plants and four immature plants.

Nelson said the officers found 63.7 grams of cultivated marijuana, which is more than two ounces. The officers also found 34 mature and 11 immature plants.

Werner's attorneys waived their opening statement, but reserved their right to present one before beginning their defense case.

A Las Vegas narcotics detective told jurors "the house was like ransacked" and he "wasn't even sure if anyone lived there or not." Det. Paul Deangelis showed jurors photos of Werner's plants, cultivation tools and copies of High Times magazine allegedly found in Werner's home.

When the detective later arrested Werner, he said he was "incoherent" and in a state that was consistent with someone on drugs. He later refused to pose for his mugshot, so two officers had to hold his head toward the camera, Deangelis said.

The trial is being shown live on Court TV Extra.

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Medical marijuana advocate trial continues

Postby budman » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:10 pm

KCBC/DT News Channel 3 wrote:Medical marijuana advocate trial continues

Aug 10, 2006 02:50 PM PDT
KCBC/DT News Channel 3


The trial resumes Thursday for medical marijuana advocate Pierre Werner. He was arrested last year after police found more than 100 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of finished product at his Las Vegas home.

Police called it a substantial drug trafficking operation. Werner says he's licensed by the state to use marijuana to treat his bi-polar disorder. But medical marijuana patients are only allowed to have one ounce or less of the drug.

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Nevada Conservatives Against the War on Drugs

Postby budman » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:57 pm

Mother Jones wrote:Nevada Conservatives Against the War on Drugs

News: If passed, a fall ballot initiative with some unlikely supporters could turn Reno and Vegas into American Amsterdams.

By Sasha Abramsky
Mother Jones
August 11, 2006


Voters have been losing their taste for the war on drugs lately; in the past few years, states from Arizona and Alaska to California and Hawaii have moved toward making marijuana, in particular, a low priority for law enforcement, with first-offense possession cases often dismissed with small-time fines and medical-marijuana measures on the books in several states. But the initiative voters in Nevada will be considering this fall goes much further: The “tax and regulate” measure, whose supporters got it on the ballot by collecting 86,000 signatures, would allow anyone over 21 to possess up to one ounce for personal use, would set up a system of pot shops (at a specified distance from schools), and would tax marijuana in a manner comparable to alcohol.

What’s intriguing about the measure is not just that it could turn Reno and Vegas into American Amsterdams, but that its most enthusiastic champions are folks like Chuck Muth. A burly, crew-cut, 47-year-old meat-and-potatoes man—during dinner at the Glen Eagles restaurant, to which he has driven in a beat-up, 15-year-old station wagon, he opts out of the salad and never touches the vegetables that come with the steak—Muth runs a conservative networking organization named Citizen Outreach. Inspired by a course designed in Newt Gingrich’s office that he took in Washington, D.C., in 1996, he also leads message-honing seminars that have trained many successful Republican politicians and public figures including the state’s current first lady, Dema Guinn; his electronic newsletter claims 15,000 daily readers nationwide.

Nevada went for Bush in 2000 and 2004, but not by much. It is a land of desert and mountains, conservative in an old-fashioned, western sense. And that, says Muth, who grew up in Baltimore and was arrested for pot possession in a city park late one night when he was 19 years old, makes it the perfect state to say no to the war on drugs. “Live and let live,” says Muth. “If I’m not bothering anyone else, don’t bother me.” The politician he most idealizes is Barry Goldwater, another Republican who took on his party’s sacred cows.

What if Nevada were to pass the measure and the feds swept in? “Bring it on,” Muth exclaims, so excited his large fist literally thumps the table. “This country has needed a big fight over federalism for a long time. I’d love to see it here. If the feds came in, you’d start to see a backlash against the drug war and the federal government. The war on drugs is a total failure. It’s time to bring the troops home.”

It’s a hallmark of how much has changed from a decade ago, when Democrats and Republicans were clamoring for ever more tough-on-drugs measures, that the war on drugs will likely be undone (if it ever is) in the red states, by conservatives like Muth, his friend Grover Norquist (the conservative guru at Americans for Tax Reform), writer William F. Buckley, Jr., economist Milton Friedman, and former Secretary of State George Shultz, all of whom have a sort of Nixon-going-to-China advantage in turning soft on pot. Across the nation, says Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, about a quarter of Republicans support marijuana legalization, and the numbers are creeping up. “The next generation of Republicans is much more libertarian than social conservative,” says Piper. “At its core, conservatism is supposed to be about free markets, the rule of law, and smaller government—and you can’t have any of those when you have a massive war on drugs.” At last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann got enthusiastic applause when he called on Republicans to move away from the lock-’em-up approach as a drug-prevention strategy.

For Nevada, this is not the first attempt to pass a legalization measure. Four years ago, advocates got an initiative on the ballot that would have permitted possession of up to three ounces of marijuana; the initiative gained the support of the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs. “We’re saying we should be spending our time protecting and serving the public,” asserted the organization’s then-president, Andy Anderson, before pressure from members forced the conference’s leadership to abandon its support. On Election Day, the initiative polled 39 percent.

This time around, despite early polls showing 56 percent of voters opposing the measure, supporters are hoping that they’ll do better come Election Day. Across the state, says Neal Levine, who leads the campaign for the measure, more and more conservatives are getting interested in reform for pragmatic as well as philosophical reasons; attempting to stamp out marijuana usage through incarceration, argues Levine, “is the biggest, costliest policy of failure this side of Iraq.” The D.C.-based Sentencing Project estimates that it costs America more than $4 billion annually to arrest, prosecute, and lock up marijuana offenders.

Levine, who lives in Las Vegas, maintains ties to many activists inside the Republican Party. The campaign’s press officer is a Log Cabin Republican. The measure’s most fervent backers, besides Muth, include Earlene Forsythe, a former military nurse who now specializes in caring for cancer patients. Forsythe, 56, chaired the state GOP during the 2004 presidential election season and has framed photos of herself with Laura and George Bush on her office walls. But she’s lost patience with her party over the issue of medical marijuana. “If my patient wants to go out and smoke a joint,” she shrugs, “I say, ‘Why not?’”

Besides, argues Muth, what better state than Nevada to launch a drug-reform movement? “It’s got to start somewhere,” he says. “The first domino has to fall.”

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Postby palmspringsbum » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:33 am

Court TV wrote:Updated Aug. 14, 2006, 4:03 p.m. ET

'Medical marijuana' user drops defense and pleads guilty

By Matt Pordum
Court TV

LAS VEGAS — The trial of a medical marijuana user went up in smoke Monday when the defendant suddenly decided to plead guilty.

After an 11th -hour plea deal, Pierre Werner admitted intentionally breaking the law and pleaded guilty to one felony charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

"I walked out of my front door waving a medical marijuana plant with a medical marijuana license in my other hand and I wanted to challenge the medical marijuana laws of the state of Nevada," Werner said.

Werner went on to admit that he knowingly possessed more medical marijuana than allowed by law and that he sold pot for money.

Police found Werner growing 34 mature and 11 smaller marijuana plants at his home in January 2004. They also found two ounces of the drug in plastic sandwich baggies inside his garage.

Under Nevada law, a person licensed to use marijuana medically is allowed only to possess, deliver or produce one ounce of usable marijuana, three mature plants and four immature plants.

The 35-year-old now faces a penalty up to four years in prison term at his sentencing Oct. 10, but could receive as little as probation.

Under the terms of the negotiation, prosecutors have agreed to dismiss more serious charges against Werner stemming from another case.

In that case Las Vegas police raided Werner's home in June 2005 and found 121 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of cultivated pot. The estimated street value of the marijuana was $750,000.

If convicted of all counts in both cases, Werner could have received up to 10 years in prison.

Werner said the prosecutors "made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

Werner's attorney, Ryan Mortier, said the deal was a "win-win situation" for Werner.

Mortier said Werner intends to sue the Nevada Department of Agriculture to challenge the law that says a patient can't serve simultaneously as a caregiver, and that a caregiver cannot serve more than one patient.

Werner's decision to plead guilty may have been based in part on the fact that his attorneys had just learned of a previous felony conviction for possession with intent to sell in New Jersey.

If Werner had testified Monday, as scheduled, prosecutors would have been able to ask him about the conviction.

Although neither Werner nor his attorneys would comment on the previous conviction, Werner said his guilty plea would not affect his licensed medical marijuana use.

"I'm still medicated as of right now and I'm going to be medicating as soon as I leave the courthouse," Werner said.

Werner's doctor testified last week that Werner qualifies for the license because he suffers from "severe nausea" which he contends stems from his bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Prosecutor Roy Nelson, however, said he planned to initiate proceedings to revoke Werner's license. But he stressed that he was not opposed to legal medical marijuana use.

"All we are trying to do is maintain the credibility of those who legally use medical marijuana," Nelson said, "and not to criticize those who need and legally use it."


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Complaint filed over criticism of Nevada marijuana plan

Postby palmspringsbum » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:28 pm

The Las Vegas Sun wrote:Today: September 21, 2006 at 14:15:32 PDT

Complaint filed over criticism of Nevada marijuana plan

The Las Vegas SUN

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A group pushing a plan to decriminalize adult possession of limited amounts of marijuana has asked state Attorney General George Chanos to intervene against southern Nevada officials opposing the plan.

The complaint filed by the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana says Clark County commissioners, while on public time, passed a resolution against Question 7, and Clark County Sheriff Bill Young and Las Vegas Metro Det. Todd Raybuck also publicly opposed the plan.

Neal Levine, campaign manager for the ballot question, also said that Metro Lt. Stan Olsen is the representative of the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable, a group formed to oppose Question 7, and uses a Metro address as a return address for the committee.

The complaint adds that Nevada law prohibits public officers from expending public funds, time or resources in support or in opposition to a ballot question.

Levine also pointed to a 2004 attorney general's opinion that states public funds can be spent in such cases "only to create or disseminate a television program that provides a forum for discussion or debate regarding the ballot question, provided that persons both in support of and in opposition to the ballot question participate."

Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing marijuana use for medical purposes in 1998 and 2000. Two years later, they rejected efforts by national advocates to allow adult possession of up to three ounces for non-medical use. The latest proposal would allow adults to possess up to one ounce.

The committee was thwarted in a first attempt for a constitutional amendment by not gathering enough signatures to qualify for the 2004 ballot. After that, the organization got enough signatures to present the issue to the 2005 Legislature. The measure automatically qualified for this year's ballot after lawmakers failed to act.

Under Question 7, the state would license wholesalers and retailers to sell the drug. Each would pay $1,000 for an initial license and $1,000 annually for the permit. It also would increase penalties for driving under the influence and restrict where pot could be sold.

Levine has said approval of the plan would make Nevada the first in the nation to tax and sell marijuana statewide through state-regulated stores.

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Religious leaders making moral case for legalizing pot in Ne

Postby budman » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:56 pm

ABC7 Chicago wrote:Religious leaders making moral case for legalizing pot in Nevada

ABC7 Chicago

October 3, 2006 - A coalition of religious leaders made a moral case Tuesday for legalizing the sale and possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults in Nevada while stiffening penalties for sales to youths and driving under the influence.

At least 33 members of the clergy have endorsed ballot Question 7 on the November election ballot, which if approved would make Nevada the first state in the nation to allow people 21 and older to legally possess small amounts of marijuana and purchase it at government regulated and state-taxed pot shops.
The clergy argued the move would cut down on minors' access to marijuana, reduce gang-related violence and generate money for the state to help finance treatment programs instead of making drug dealers rich.

"On it's face, our current marijuana laws appear to be moral, but it is a cosmetic morality," said the Rev. Paul Hansen, senior pastor at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Las Vegas.

"Our current laws are causing virtually unfettered access to marijuana. Marijuana is far easier to access than alcohol because drug dealers don't card," he said.

Hansen was among four religious leaders who appeared with representatives of the Committee to Regulate & Control Marijuana at a news conference holding signs that read "Yes on 7. Tax and Regulate Marijuana."

Nevada is among 12 states that have decriminalized possession but still issue fines. Under Nevada law, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana has been a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $600 fine since October 2001.

"Some of us Protestants believe that one of the functions of government is to curb sinful behavior," said the Rev. Ruth Hanusa, chaplain at Campus Christian Association at University of Nevada, Reno.

"But our marijuana laws are not curbing marijuana use and they are causing more harm than good by filling the pockets of dangerous criminals and ensuring that children have the easiest access of anyone," she said.

Hansen said he recently asked his 16-year-old daughter if she could find marijuana if she wanted to and before she could answer, his 18-year-old son burst out laughing.

"He said, `What a stupid question dad,"' Hansen said.

The Nevada AFL-CIO, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce are among groups opposed to the measure.

"Proposing to legalize another intoxicating drug is not the best thing for Nevada. The message it sends to youth is that smoking pot is just part of growing up," said Todd Raybuck, who operates the Web site www.nevadasaysno.com for the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable that opposes the measure.

"There are two sides to every story but I believe if the clergymen that spoke in favor of Question 7 had been given the entire picture, many of them if not all would have not come down on it the way they have," he said. "I'm sure there are many clergymen in the state of Nevada who haven't spoken out yet against it but I'm sure they will."

The Rev. David Scheuneman, a Unitarian Universalist community minister in Las Vegas, said his church approved a resolution in 2002 advocating alternatives to current marijuana laws.

"One of the roles of religion is to point out hypocrisy in society. By any means, marijuana is less dangerous to individuals and society than alcohol," Scheuneman said.

"Ads for alcohol are plentiful. You are allowed to buy unlimited amounts, and in Las Vegas we give it away for free to gamblers in casinos and allow people to drink it on the streets," he said.

Sister Toni Woodson, a Roman Catholic nun and former teacher at Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School, said she's worried about the Mexican drug cartels that are growing marijuana on national forest land in nearby California and protecting their turf with dangerous weapons.

"Marijuana doesn't cause this disregard for human life. Our marijuana laws do," Woodson said.

"Jesus said you could judge a tree by its fruit. If our marijuana laws are a tree, I'm afraid the fruit is failing," she said.

Neal Levine, campaign manager for the committee pushing the initiative, said the backing of the religious community -- "people who obviously have deep moral beliefs" -- shows the breadth of the support for the change.

"I think our campaign is gaining traction and moving forward and I think we're going to pass this in November," he said.

Recent polls have the measure trailing, 51 percent to 42 percent.

Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing marijuana use for medical purposes in 1998 and 2000, but four years ago, state voters overwhelmingly rejected a petition that would have legalized up to 3 ounces of marijuana. A similar petition failed to qualify for the 2004 ballot.

The newest version imposes a $45 per ounce excise tax, which would be used to defray administrative costs. Remaining tax dollars would go to the state general fund, with 50 percent earmarked for alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse programs.

<center><small>(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) </small></center>

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Clergy members support effort to legalize marijuana

Postby budman » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:42 pm

The Ely Times wrote:Published on Friday, October 06, 2006

Clergy members support effort to legalize marijuana

By ED VOGEL
STEPHENS MEDIA CAPITAL BUREAU
The Ely Times

CARSON CITY -- Sister Toni Woodson believes Nevada's marijuana laws encourage criminal activity.

The Roman Catholic nun, who lives in Henderson, would like to see those laws replaced with a system in which the state regulates sales of marijuana. Such a change would remove the drug from the criminal market and restrict sales to adults older than 21, she said.

"Marijuana should be categorized with alcohol and cigarettes, rather than with meth and horrible drugs," said Woodson, a member of the Community of the Holy Spirit. "Kids can get drugs today because the people who are selling them don't card. It is time for a change. I would like to see dealers removed from the street corners. I don't see people selling beer on the streets."

Woodson was among religious leaders endorsing on Tuesday the ballot question that would allow adults to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana. A total of 32 ministers, rabbis and other members of the Nevada clergy signed statements saying they support Question 7, the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana's initiative to establish a state-regulated system in which marijuana would be grown by licensed farmers, sold in state-approved stores and taxed by the state.

Voters will decide the question in the Nov. 7 election.

Several of the religious leaders attended a news conference in Northern Nevada to announce their support for the question.

The Rev. Ivan Gunderman, senior pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, who did not attend the news conference but was among those endorsing the measure, said in an interview that the penalties for using marijuana are far worse than the offense merits.

"Sometimes the crime is worse than the problem," Gunderman said. "Look at Prohibition. It didn't stop people using alcohol. If anything it launched organized crime."

Gunderman said he knows people suffering serious illnesses who needed marijuana as medication. He said they did not qualify for the state's medical marijuana program, so they were forced to acquire it illegally and technically become criminals.

A state law permits Nevada residents with their doctors' permission to enroll in a medical marijuana program. Once enrolled, they can grow marijuana and use it as their medication.

Under current law, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in Nevada is a misdemeanor, punishable by a $600 fine. Until 2001, the possession of any amount of marijuana in the Silver State was a felony.

Las Vegas police Lt. Stan Ol sen was disappointed that any member of the clergy would support Question 7.

"I would guess they don't have the true facts, or they could not make this decision," said Olsen, a longtime foe of marijuana. "I am sure the motives of these people are good, but if they knew the facts they would take a different position."

He said the argument that Nevada should legalize marijuana because laws have not stopped the use of the drug, is like saying the state should legalize burglary because laws have not stopped burglars.

Olsen asserted that passage of Question 7 isn't going to end the illegal dealing of drugs, or keep marijuana out of the hands of children.

"It isn't going to stop drug-pushing," he said.

Neal Levine, campaign manager of the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, called Olsen's comments "incredibly demeaning and insulting" to the clergy. He said the religious leaders who support Question 7 reviewed it in detail, debated its merits and then showed courage by signing statements as supporters.

"They didn't look at it lightly," he said. "These people are the moral pillars of the community. The opposition to this is a coalition of law enforcement people. They have a vested interest in continuing the status quo. The religious leaders are looking at it objectively."

David Scheuncman, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Las Vegas, said funds used for the fight against marijuana could be better spent on other programs.

"The current approach has failed," he said. "They have hardly made a dent in marijuana consumption. Put the money to better use: Fire a drug dealer and hire a teacher."

Olsen accused the Committee to Regulate & Control Marijuana of being an out-of-state-funded organization that cares little about the interests of Nevadans.

The committee is largely financed by the Marijuana Policy Project of Washington, D.C. Four years ago, the organization was unsuccessful in a drive to convince voters in Nevada to back Question 9 and legalize up to three ounces of marijuana. That question lost by a vote of 39 percent for and 61 percent against.

A poll commissioned by the Stephens Media Group last month found 42 percent of voters back Question 7, while 51 percent oppose it and 7 percent are undecided.

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Suspect in marijuana cultivation claims he has medical permi

Postby budman » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:41 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Suspect in marijuana cultivation claims he has medical permit


<big><span class=postbold>Bail set at $25,000 cash for pot farm suspect</span></big>

Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service
October 7, 2006


<table class=posttable align=right width=200><tr><td class=postcell><img src=bin/gilbert_james.jpg width=200></td></tr></table>MINDEN - Bail was raised to $25,000 cash Friday for a suspect in the cultivation of 50 pounds of marijuana with a reported street value of $400,000.

Defendant James Douglas Gilbert, 41, objected to the increase and told East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl the allegations against him were "a sham."

"This man is crazy," Gilbert said, referring to prosecutor Mike McCormick.

McCormick had asked EnEarl to raise the bail to $20,000 and EnEarl made it $25,000.

"What am I supposed to do with that?" Gilbert asked. "Don't you think that's a little extreme?"

Gilbert and Teresa Jo Ortega were arrested Thursday in a pre-dawn raid on Ortega's Gardnerville Ranchos home.

Deputies confiscated 11 marijuana plants - some more than 6 feet tall - along with $7,000 cash, scales and plastic bags.

Gilbert claimed he had a medical marijuana permit. According to court documents Gilbert had been cleared for a permit, but a Department of Agriculture official said she was unaware of his criminal past and would turn his application over to the attorney general.

Ortega has a medical marijuana permit, but the amount at her residence was about four times the legal limit.

"I went through the proper channels," Gilbert said. "In my book, I am legal. This gentleman (McCormick) knows by keeping me in jail I won't be able to do the stuff to defend myself."

McCormick referred to Gilbert's extensive criminal record and prior federal conviction for growing marijuana.

"We have a commercial growing facility here," McCormick said. "There were hundreds of pounds of bushes, scales and packaging materials."

McCormick said investigators also found $7,000 in a paper bag.

Gilbert said the money belonged to his girlfriend Ortega who had secured a car loan.

"This guy don't even know," Gilbert said.

"At least I am not an ex-felon like you," McCormick retorted.

EnEarl appointed Derrick Lopez to defend Gilbert. He is to appear in court Wednesday.

Ortega bailed out Thursday. She is scheduled for an Oct. 23 court appearance.

Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Deputies obtained a search warrant after officers looking for a fugitive stopped at the house earlier last week and could smell the marijuana plants as they approached the front door.

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Nev. bill could put pot in state stores

Postby Midnight toker » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:12 am

The Carlsbad Current-Argus wrote:Nev. bill could put pot in state stores

<blockquote>Backers say taxation and regulation of up to 1 ounce would help the drug war. Critics argue its use would remain a federal crime. </blockquote>

By Sandra Chereb
The Associated Press
DenverPost.com
Article Launched: 10/12/2006 08:28:47 PM MDT
The Current-Argus

Reno, Nev. - Organizers of a measure on Nevada's November ballot hope that voters in a state in which almost everything goes will go one better and legalize marijuana.

If voters approve, Nevada would become the first state in the nation in which adults could legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and conceivably purchase it at government-regulated and -taxed pot shops.

The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, which has pushed medical-marijuana and decriminalization laws around the country, thinks a state that embraces gambling, allows prostitution in rural counties and prides itself on its Western independence is a perfect venue to legalize marijuana.

"All we're saying is, our marijuana laws completely do not work," said Neal Levine, executive director of the committee that is largely funded by the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.

The group argues that the legal system wastes time and money on low-level marijuana offenses, and that taxing and regulating pot would put drug dealers out of business while freeing law enforcement to focus on violent crime and trafficking in hard drugs such as methamphetamine.

Opponents include law enforcement and civic and business groups.

"The fact is, growing, distributing and warehousing marijuana will still be a federal offense," said Todd Raybuck, a Las Vegas police officer and volunteer spokesman for the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable, which opposes the measure.

Question 7 allows people age 21 and older to possess 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes - the same amount allowed under Nevada's medical-marijuana law.

Twelve states have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and 11 allow its medical use.

In November, South Dakota will vote on authorizing medical marijuana. Colorado voters will vote on a ballot measure to legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by those 21 and older, similar to an ordinance Denver voters approved last year.



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Drug czar criticizes Nevada proposal to legalize marijuana

Postby palmspringsbum » Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:06 pm

The Las Vegas SUN wrote:October 12, 2006

Drug czar criticizes Nevada proposal to legalize marijuana

ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 12, 2006
The Las Vegas SUN

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Backers of an initiative to legalize small amounts of marijuana are trying to conduct "a social science experiment on the families of Nevada," a Bush administration official said Thursday.

John Walters, the administration's drug czar, said the initiative on Nevada's November ballot is supported by outsiders who want to take advantage of the "blind spot people have about marijuana."

"It has addictive qualities and especially in the hands of young people and teens ... has caused, as you well know, quite a loss of life," Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Walters appeared Thursday with U.S. Rep. Jon Porter to speak out against the initiative, known as Question 7, and announced $500,000 in federal funding for a Clark County anti-drug program.

Backers of the measure protested Walters' visit to Nevada, which included speeches and media interviews, saying he was using tax dollars to campaign against the initiative.

Question 7 would allow people 21 and older to posses 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes - the same amount allowed under Nevada's medical marijuana law. The measure also directs marijuana growers, distributors and retailers to be licensed, taxed and regulated. And, it doubles penalties for selling or giving pot to minors and for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It is backed by The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, a group that has pushed legalization measures in several states with funding from the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.

The group argues that the legal system is bogged down by low-level marijuana offenses. It claims that taxing and regulating pot would put drug dealers out of business while freeing law enforcement resources to pursue violent crime.

Neal Levine, executive director of the committee says anyone who wants marijuana can get it already, so it makes more sense to put it into a tightly controlled and regulated environment.

Walters defended current drug laws.

"The laws are working. The fact of the matter is we have lower rates of substance abuse now than we did several years ago," he said.

He said new drug courts that handle only nonviolent drug-related offenses are succeeding in diverting drug users out of jails and into treatment centers. He said that a change in the law would send the wrong message to young people.

"The law is an important expression of what people take seriously," he said.

--


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Pot cultivator claims crop was legal

Postby palmspringsbum » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:25 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Pot cultivator claims crop was legal



Nevada Appeal News Service
October 13, 2006

A man who said he was cultivating marijuana in his backyard under a permit from the state was denied release from jail on Wednesday.

James Douglas Gilbert appeared in East Fork Justice Court and sought release through his attorney, Derrick Lopez.

Gilbert, 41, is being held in lieu of $10,749 bail after an Oct. 5 drug raid on his Gardnerville Ranchos home.

Lopez said Gilbert is being accused of having 11 mature plants growing in his backyard. The medical marijuana permit he holds reportedly allows Gilbert to have three mature plants and four immature plants.

Lopez said the home's previous tenant also had a permit, which would have allowed the pair to have 14 plants in all.

In arguing for his client's release, Lopez pointed out it was unlikely Gilbert would be able to grow marijuana while under supervision.

Prosecutor Mike McCormick opposed Gilbert's release, saying the man had a criminal past that included battery and sales of marijuana.

Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl denied the request for release and set an Oct. 20 preliminary hearing where he will determine whether a crime was committed and if there is enough evidence to believe Gilbert may be the culprit.

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Smoking those ballot questions

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:27 am

The Ely Times wrote:<span class=postbold>As We See It</span>

Smoking those ballot questions


The Ely Times
October 13, 2006


Three questions on the Nov. 7 general election ballot deal with smoking.

The entire trio should be stubbed out.

Only two deal with tobacco smoking: Questions 4 and 5. Question 7 is another attempt to legalize marijuana -- cannabis sativa -- in Nevada.

We'll address our opposition to Question 7 first.

We believe that U.S. cannabis laws are outdated and should be repealed. Our drug cops have enough to worry about with methamphetamine and other dangerous substances, and shouldn't be wasting any of their time on something as harmless as pot.

But that's the root question: is marijuana truly harmless? We'll never know as long as cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970.

That classification bars our medical schools, research hospitals and pharmaceutical companies from studying the herb.

Cannabis should be reclassified as a Schedule II drug to allow research into its medicinal benefits, as well as any long-term health threats to people who use it recreationally.

But Question 7 has nothing to do with that. It's instead designed to allow Nevadans to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana, in violation of federal drug laws. And that would be a violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI, Paragraph 2) which mandates that state laws are subject to the U.S. Constitution and federal laws passed in accordance with it.

While Question 7 has merits: harsher penalties for those who drive under the influence of cannabis or who sell pot to minors; and a system for the state to regulate and tax the growth, distribution and sale of pot, we cannot support any measure that defies the authority of the U.S. Constitution.

Vote for Question 7, if you will, as a protest. But if you sincerely believe cannabis should someday be legal, focus your effort on Nevada's congressional delegation.

We'll vote no on Question 7.

Questions 4 and 5 are separate attempts to protect the citizens of Nevada from that nasty second-hand smoke, prohibiting smoking in more public places than current law.

Travel to Las Vegas or Reno and you'll see a proliferation of signs that say: “Yes on 4, No on 5.”

Question 5 is more restrictive than Question 4. It would prohibit smoking in just about every “public place” in Nevada except for casino floors, within bars that do not serve food and in your own home.

Opponents say the vague language of the measure could lead to smoking bans in hotel and motel rooms and other outdoor public facilities.

Supporters say it is not their intention to ban smoke in outdoor areas, just anywhere indoors in the Silver State.

Question 5 is supported by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society.

Question 4 is supported by the gaming industry, bars and hotels.

It too toughens smoking prohibitions, but allows smoking in adult-only areas in bars and restaurants and slot machine sections in grocery stores and convenience stores.

Both questions have shown leads in recent statewide polling by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Question 4 garnered a 77-percent lead in a recent LVRJ poll, while Question 5 had a 62 percent approval in the poll. Both seem destined to pass.

Whichever question passes will become law. If both pass, the one with the greater number of yes votes will become law.

That's the point of the “Yes on 4, No on 5” campaign.

We understand the concern, and the preference by businesses for the less-restrictive measure.

However we don't believe the public should pass a bad law to prevent a worse one from succeeding.

Although the Question 4 versus Question 5 debate is being framed as smokers versus non-smokers, we believe there is a more important issue at stake.

Questions 4 and 5 represent further erosion of individual rights and responsibilities.

If a businessman wants to allow his patrons to smoke, we still believe that to be an issue between him and his customers -- not the state.

We're not advocating smoke-filled rooms by any means. The Ely Times is a smoke-free workplace, and none of the employees or management here smoke.

But that's a business decision and an individual choice -- not a mandate of government.

If you are a worried smoker, concerned about the shrinking domain where you are allowed to light up, maybe you should choose the lesser of the two evils and vote yes on 4 and no on 5.

However, if you are more concerned about the increasing incursion of government and the nanny-Nazis who want to dictate and control your every move and desire, vote no on both questions.

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Nevada will vote on legalizing pot

Postby palmspringsbum » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:27 pm

The Arizona Daily Star wrote:Published: 10.15.2006

Nevada will vote on legalizing pot

By Sandra Chereb
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Arizona Daily Star

RENO, Nev. — Organizers of a measure on Nevada's November ballot hope that voters in a state in which almost everything goes already will go one better and legalize marijuana.

If voters approve, Nevada would become the first state in the nation in which adults could legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and conceivably purchase it at government-regulated and -taxed pot shops.

The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, which has pushed medical marijuana and decriminalization laws around the country, thinks a state that embraces gambling, allows prostitution in rural counties and prides itself on its Western independence, is a perfect venue to legalize marijuana.

"All we're saying is, our marijuana laws completely do not work," said Neal Levine, executive director of the committee, which is largely funded by the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.

The group argues that the legal system wastes time and money on low-level marijuana offenses, and that taxing and regulating pot would put drug dealers out of business while freeing law enforcement to focus on violent crime and trafficking in narcotics, such as methamphetamine.

"Anyone who wants it can get it," Levine said. "Put it into a tightly controlled and regulated environment. We think that makes a lot of sense."

Opponents, including law enforcement, the nation's drug czar, and civic and business groups, argue the measure sends the wrong message. They say it will encourage the use of other drugs, and they question proponents' contentions that marijuana could be Nevada's newest cash cow because they say the state doesn't have the authority to regulate such substances.

"The fact is, growing, distributing and warehousing marijuana will still be a federal offense," said Todd Raybuck, a Las Vegas police officer and volunteer spokesman for the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable, which opposes the measure.

Question 7 allows people 21 and older to possess 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes — the same amount allowed under Nevada's medical-marijuana law.

Includes excise tax

Twelve states have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and 12 allow its use for medical purposes. Possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana at home is legal in Alaska under a court decision, but appeals are pending.

In November, South Dakota will vote on authorizing medical marijuana. Colorado voters will vote on a ballot measure that would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by those 21 and older, similar to an ordinance Denver voters approved last year.

But the Nevada measure goes further. It also directs Nevada's Department of Taxation to set up procedures to license and regulate marijuana growers, distributors and retailers. At the same time, it doubles penalties for selling or giving pot to minors and for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The legislation also imposes a $45 per ounce excise tax, the proceeds of which would be used to defray administrative costs. Remaining tax dollars would go to the state general fund, with 50 percent earmarked for alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse programs.

Revenue estimate questioned

A 2002 study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas estimated taxing and regulating marijuana would generate $28.6 million in new state revenue.

But opponents counter that the touted benefits are pipe dreams, flawed by the reality of federal law, and they point out that since 2001 possession of an ounce or less in Nevada has been reduced to a misdemeanor punishable by a $600 fine.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nevada said the office doesn't comment on policy issues and referred questions to the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., which didn't respond to several phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled people who smoke marijuana for medical reasons can be prosecuted under federal drug laws.

Though officials have said it's unlikely federal authorities would target medicinal users, Raybuck said it's doubtful that federal agents would tolerate commercial pot ventures.

"The big question is, this goes beyond legalizing 1 ounce," Raybuck said. "How many pounds will they have in their warehouse? What community is going to open their streets and highways to tractor-trailer loads of weed?

"Even if we could set up pot farms and pot shops, it's not going to happen overnight," Raybuck added. That gap, he said, would invite criminal elements.

"It'd be a heyday," he said.

Here is a look at the status of marijuana laws in various states, including those that have decriminalized possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and approved use of marijuana for medical reasons: <ul class=postlist><li>DECRIMINALIZED (12): Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon. </li>

<li>MEDICAL MARIJUANA (12): Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington. </li>

<li>LEGAL (1): It currently is legal in Alaska to possess up to 1 ounce in the privacy of your own home but an appeal is pending in the state court system. </li>

<li>NOVEMBER BALLOT: Colorado voters will vote on a ballot measure in November that would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by those 21 and older, similar to an ordinance Denver voters approved last year. South Dakota votes on medical marijuana. </li>

<li>LOCAL ORDINANCES: Several local jurisdictions across the country also have measures on the ballot that would make possession the lowest law enforcement priority, something already adopted in Seattle and Oakland, Calif., among other places. </li>
</ul>
Sources: Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.

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Event offers marijuana views

Postby palmspringsbum » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:58 pm

According to Yasbin, he even contacted Todd Raybuck, a narcotics agent, to come speak in addition to Heverly on the side opposed to the legalization of marijuana. However, Levine felt it would be two against one.

Even after Yasbin offered to get another person to accompany Levine's views, he still refused, stating he would be the only one able to talk about the regulation of marijuana, according to Yasbin.


Sound like he (we) already lost the debate. Thanks a lot Levine.

The Rebel Yell wrote:Event offers marijuana views

Nevada Student Affairs to hold legalization debate Tuesday

By: Michael Lyle, Assistant News Editor
The Rebel Yell
October 16, 2006


With the November elections around the corner a debate over ballot question seven, focusing on the regulation and legalization of marijuana in Nevada, will be held.

The legalization of marijuana has been a highly controversial topic in the state of Nevada with previous proposals for a constitution amendment to use marijuana for medical purposes being rejected.

With such opposing views, CSUN decided to bring a lecture to campus focusing on the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

The debate will be held Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the student union theater informing students on the facts about marijuana.

Sponsored by the Nevada Student Affairs department of CSUN, the debate will feature two opposing views, allowing students to get a full scope of the issues.

On the side against legalization of marijuana is Sandy Heverly, executive director of Stop DUI in Nevada. Opposing her will be Neil Levine, campaign director for the Committee to Control and Regulate Marijuana.

Each side will give a 10 to 15 minute presentation on the facts and their views on why marijuana should or should not be regulated.

Afterward, moderator Ray Patterson, director of the Saltman Center at Boyd School of Law, will open up the floor for questions.

Spencer Yasbin, director of Nevada Student Affairs wanted to get as many people speaking on the subject as possible.

"Students can't make an intelligent decision with inaccurate information," Yasbin said.

According to Yasbin, he even contacted Todd Raybuck, a narcotics agent, to come speak in addition to Heverly on the side opposed to the legalization of marijuana. However, Levine felt it would be two against one.

Even after Yasbin offered to get another person to accompany Levine's views, he still refused, stating he would be the only one able to talk about the regulation of marijuana, according to Yasbin.

Even though Raybuck will not present facts beside Heverly, he will still be attending the lecture.

"I expect Todd to be actively involved," Yasbin said.

Yasbin is hoping students will come with questions in order to make an informed decision.

"If it is so important to students whether it is to be or not to be legalized, they will attend and learn the facts so they can vote intelligently," Yasbin said.

The even put this on the advertisement even included the phrase, "Come learn the facts so you know whether to vote yes or no."
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Nevadans to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:17 pm

Forbes wrote:Associated Press

Nevadans to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana
By SANDRA CHEREB , 10.17.2006, 02:30 PM
Forbes


Gambling, prostitution, and now pot? Organizers of a Nevada ballot measure hope voters in a state where almost everything goes will go one better and legalize marijuana.

If it passes Nov. 7, Nevada will be the first state to allow adults to possess up to an ounce of pot that they could buy at government-regulated marijuana shops.

The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, which has pushed medical marijuana and decriminalization laws around the country, thinks Nevada - with its embrace of certain vices and its streak of Western independence - is a perfect venue.

In an editorial last spring, the rural Lahontan Valley News argued that gambling, Nevada's most powerful industry, caters to "visceral pleasures," and that it would hypocritical to oppose the legalization of marijuana on moral grounds.

Proponents of the measure also argue that the legal system wastes time and money on low-level marijuana offenses, and that taxing and regulating pot would put drug dealers out of business while freeing law enforcement to focus on violent crime and more dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine.

"Put it into a tightly controlled and regulated environment. We think that makes a lot of sense," Neal Levine, executive director of the committee.

Opponents, including law enforcement, the nation's drug czar, and civic and business groups, argue the measure would encourage the use of other drugs, and they question whether it will even prove to be a good source of tax revenue.

"The fact is, growing, distributing and warehousing marijuana will still be a federal offense," said Todd Raybuck, a Las Vegas police officer and spokesman for the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable, which opposes the measure.

Question 7 allows people 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana in their homes - the same amount allowed under Nevada's medical marijuana law. Currently, possession of an ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a $600 fine.

Twelve states have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana - that is, possession is punishable by a ticket and a fine - and 11 allow its use for medical purposes. Possession of up to an ounce at home is legal in Alaska under a court ruling there, but the case is under appeal.

Colorado residents will vote next month on whether to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by those 21 and older, similar to an ordinance Denver voters approved last year.

But the Nevada measure goes further. It directs Nevada's Department of Taxation to set up procedures to license and regulate marijuana growers, distributors and retailers. At the same time, it doubles penalties for selling or giving pot to minors and for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The legislation also imposes a $45-per-ounce excise tax, with some of the proceeds going toward the budget and alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse programs. An ounce of pot on the street costs upwards of $300, depending on the quality.

A 2002 study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas estimated taxing and regulating marijuana would generate $28.6 million in revenue.

The Justice Department in Washington did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled people who smoke marijuana for medical reasons can be prosecuted under federal drug laws, and Raybuck said it is doubtful federal agents would tolerate commercial pot ventures in Nevada.

In 2002, Nevada voters overwhelmingly rejected a move to legalize up to three ounces of marijuana. The latest measure got onto the ballot after 86,000 people signed petitions.

A poll conducted in September for the Las Vegas Review-Journal found 51 percent of voters opposed Question 7, while 42 percent supported it and 7 percent were undecided.

The measure has found some surprising allies.

"Make no mistake, I don't think using marijuana is a wise choice for anyone," said the Rev. William C. Webb, a Baptist minister who joined dozens of other religious leaders in announcing their backing. But "if there has to be a market in marijuana, I'd rather it be regulated with sensible safeguards than run by violent gangs and dangerous drug dealers."

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Panel debates pot initiative

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:22 am

The Sagebrush wrote:Panel debates pot initiative

Professionals explore proposed change to state marijuana laws

By: Daniel Czech
The Nevada Sagebrush
Issue date: 10/31/06 Section: News

A debate last week on the pros and cons of decriminalizing marijuana brought out more than 50 students and community members wanting to hear more about the issue before voting in next weeks election.

Six panelists from the medical, political and educational communities debated Nevada ballot initiative seven, which would legalize the sale and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older.

The University of Nevada, Reno's Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technology, Student Organization of Providers of Addiction Services, and the Substance Abuse Treatment Program hosted the forum, which featured three panelists in support of Question 7 and three in opposition.

According to panelist Patrick Killen, communications director for Yes on Question 7, Nevada's marijuana laws have failed.

"We would suggest by taking marijuana out of the hands of violent gangs and drug dealers and taxing it and regulating it, we would have a far more suitable policy for Nevada," Killen said.

One of the opponents, Todd Roybuck, spent several years in the narcotics division of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Representing NevadaSaysNo.com, Roybuck said legalizing any amount of marijuana might lead to drastic social change.

"My biggest issue with Question 7 is that legalizing marijuana for adults tells our kids that smoking pot is just part of growing up," he said.

While all the panelists said the forum went very well, senior Zachary Michalka said there were times he wasn't satisfied.

"I honestly thought the discussion got off track too often," he said. "It was still a good discussion when it did stay on track."

Michalka, a general studies major, said he attended the forum because he wanted to learn more about Question 7 in order to make an informed vote.

Laiel Winder, president of SOPAS, said this was exactly what the forum was intended to serve.

"With the marijuana initiative being such a popular topic right now, we thought this would be a way for students and people of the community to learn about the different sides of the issue so they that could make an informed decision," Winder said.

Panelist Stephen Frye, a former UNR professor, came to the forum with a few facts for the audience.

"From the pharmacological effects of marijuana, there have been no recorded deaths," Frye said. "7,500 people died last year from aspirin and ibuprofen."

While many audience members supported Question 7, Roosevelt Blackburn Jr. said he was concerned marijuana stores would target and hurt poorer Nevada neighborhoods.

"It just makes property values go down even worse," he said.

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Marijuana proponents light up TV with ads

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:58 am

The pro-Question 7 Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana has purchased $678,960 worth of ads on the four major southern Nevada TV stations for the final weeks of the campaign, according to records at channels 3, 5, 8 and 13. In contrast, the anti-marijuana coalition of law enforcement and business interests known as the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable is not spending a penny on TV.

Yeah, but how much did they confiscate under asset forfeiture?

Scripps News Service wrote:Marijuana proponents light up TV with ads

By STEVE KANIGHER
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Scripps News

The roots of Nevada's ballot measure to legalize marijuana stretch all the way to Cleveland and New Zealand.

Because if a now-retired auto insurance billionaire from Cleveland had not gotten busted for pot possession in New Zealand, Question 7 might never have made it to the Nov. 7 ballot.

Question 7, billed as the Regulation of Marijuana Initiative, would permit individuals 21 and older to buy and possess up to one ounce of marijuana in Nevada while allowing the state to collect taxes on its growth and retail sale.

As one of only two marijuana initiatives on statewide ballots this fall, Question 7 will put Nevada in the national spotlight, regardless of the election's outcome. The other initiative is in Colorado, where voters are being asked to adopt statewide Denver's law legalizing up to an ounce of marijuana possession for adults in that city.

Television ads to date on Question 7 have been extensive _ and entirely one-sided.

The pro-Question 7 Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana has purchased $678,960 worth of ads on the four major southern Nevada TV stations for the final weeks of the campaign, according to records at channels 3, 5, 8 and 13. In contrast, the anti-marijuana coalition of law enforcement and business interests known as the Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable is not spending a penny on TV.

Despite that spending imbalance, recent political history suggests that the election is far from a sure thing for proponents.

Although Nevada is one of 12 states that has approved marijuana for medicinal purposes, voters in 2002 overwhelmingly defeated a state ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana possession for all adults. And pro-marijuana forces failed in their bid to get another initiative on the 2004 ballot.

As in 2002, the pro-marijuana effort this year has been financed mostly by the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, backed primarily by retired auto insurance executive Peter Lewis of Cleveland. The group also has backed proposed marijuana legislation in several other states.

Lewis, the retired chief executive of Progressive Auto Insurance Co., one of the nation's biggest auto insurers, was a major financial backer of Americans for Medical Rights, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based group that sponsored Nevada's successful 1998 medical marijuana initiative. His money also helped bankroll the failed 2002 ballot measure, and Lewis also has financed efforts by the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate against drug laws.

According to a Wall Street Journal story, Lewis was arrested in New Zealand in 2000 for possession of marijuana and hashish, but was released after making a donation to a local drug rehabilitation center. He told the newspaper that he became involved in efforts to change marijuana laws because, "I have seen it for quite a while as pure patriotism to try to change a policy that is sillier than Prohibition."

Neal Levine, a Las Vegan who is managing the Question 7 campaign, argues that this year's ballot measure has a better chance of approval than the proposed constitutional amendment that failed in 2002 because it is more restrictive and more tightly written.

In addition to the 1 ounce possession limit, the measure would stiffen the criminal penalties for selling marijuana to minors, limit sales to certain types of retailers and double from 20 to 40 years the maximum prison term that a motorist could receive for causing death or substantial bodily harm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"Marijuana use is already prevalent in our society," Levine said. "If Question 7 passes, it would probably be statistically improbable that you would have a huge jump in marijuana use. Anybody who wants to use it can already get it. The problem is that the current laws don't work.

"What marijuana laws are doing now is funneling millions of dollars to violent criminals."




Readers wrote:
<span class=postbigbold>The backyard growing is a moot point</span>

Submitted by J (not verified) on Wed, 11/01/2006 - 13:01.

I can just as easily make beer in my closet as I can grow cannabis in it. Beer is a lot cheaper to manufacture.

The real reason why cannabis remains illegal is the billions of dollars local and state authorities get each year to fight cannabis. They arrest a few smokers, only a couple of dealers, and BAM, funding for the next year on all their projects.

www.freetheplant.org

<hr class=postrule>
<span class=postbigbold>Actually the real reason it is iilegal.....</span>

Submitted by Ian (not verified) on Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:21.

I want to give you a more clear picture.... this excerpt is taken from http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/janak/061025. The author clearly shows the connections of big business (of that time and now) and the prohibition of this benign substance.<blockquote><i>"George Schlichten later invented a hemp 'decorticating' machine that stood poised to revolutionize papermaking. Henry Ford demonstrated that cars could be made of, and run on, hemp.

Evidence suggests that a special-interest group was not happy with these innovations. This group consisted of William Randolph Hearst, DuPont petrochemical company and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon (DuPont's major financial backer). Hearst started a yellow journalism campaign against hemp. He purposely confused the psychoactive marijuana with industrial hemp, one of humankind's oldest and most useful resources. The reason for this was Hearst and DuPont were heavily invested in timber and petroleum resources, and hemp was a threat to their empires. Petroleum companies also knew that petroleum emitted noxious and toxic byproducts when incompletely burned, as in an auto engine.

In 1937, DuPont, Mellon and Hearst were able to push a "Marijuana" prohibition bill through Congress in less than three months and destroyed the domestic hemp industry.

I find it interesting how the well financed interest groups and lobbyists are able to influence the elected officials away from what would have been a benefit to the American farmer and citizens. The American farmer would have been able to grow industrial hemp that had many uses. The citizen would have had a cleaner world to raise their children and grand children. Instead, because of the successful lobbying efforts our reliance on oil increased."</i></blockquote>So this is just one authors point, but many others through out the last 60 years have immortalized this simple fact. The proponents of this ridiculous prohibition did not care about the safety of our children and the (supposed) morales of America. They cared only for their pocket books and interests. So because of this Millions of non-violent American Citizens have been locked up, many violent and harmful criminals have capitialized from this prohibition, not unlike Al Capone when liquor was illegal, and frankly if Nevadans vote yes and create regulations and rules that would be a huge step forward for our freedoms and democracy. So if you have read this and think hmmm....this is just some pot smoking freak writing this, thien I ask; When prostitution was legalized and regulated in Nevada, did every woman become a prostitute? (of course not)and more so did it not increase the safety and well being of these woman that made this career choice (even opponents have said yes). So it is ridiculous to think that because Nevada is legalizing marijuana that every adult will start puffing away.....remember this is not big tobacco ;)

<hr class=postrule>

<span class=postbigbold>only reason it is illegal</span>

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/01/2006 - 00:10.

the only reason marijuana is illegal is because we as americans can grow it in our backyards and we wont need to run to the store to buy a 6 pack of budlight to have a good time. This takes millions of dollars away from our whore government.

secondly, from a medical standpoint. this is one of the only substances that is only psychologically addicting as opposed to alcohol and cigarettes that are physically and psychologically addicting and you sufffer from withdrawal if you dont stop. this puts billions of dollars into our economy. not to mention it also supports most rehab centers that are making millions in this country.

marijuana will be legal someday when we have a more liberal government not right now....


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Titus returns home

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:50 pm

The Rebel Yell wrote:Titus returns home

One week before Election Day, candidate reinforces her platform

By: Alexis Brown, Features Editor
The Rebel Yell
November 2, 2006

<table class=posttable align=right width=300><tr><td class=postcell><img class=postimg src=bin/titus_dina.jpg width=300></td></tr><tr><td class=postcap>Dina Titus has made several trips to UNLV to campaign, including a visit with former President Jimmy Carter and student press conferences.</td></tr></table>Former UNLV political science professor, state Senator and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus said she felt like she was at home again Tuesday while at a student press conference at UNLV.

Titus talked about the Millennium Scholarship, immigration, being called "Dina Taxes," the war in Iraq and ballot initiatives, but remained mum on the subject of her Republican opponent Jim Gibbons' assault allegation.

Though the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on Oct. 27 that Titus spoke about the Gibbons assault as a reflection of his bad judgment, Titus said, "I've not talked about his other scandal. I don't want to deal with that." If Titus wins the governor's race, she will make Nevada history.

"I would be the first woman governor of Nevada, and that's nice," she said and acknowledged that there is somewhat of a glass ceiling but does not think it is strong enough to keep a woman from office.

"I don't know if (a female governor) is long overdue, but I think it's time," Titus said, noting that there are already female Democratic governors in Arizona and Kansas, as well as other states.

"We've traveled around the state. It's kind of an unusual thing to represent the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids," Titus said. "I figured if I can do all that, I can … represent the whole state."

Titus said she is "not just running a woman's campaign," and, when it comes to Titus and her Republican opponent, she is quick to point out that there are more substantial differences than gender.

"He's been in Washington on the backbench; I've been in Nevada on the front lines," she said.

Although Titus calls education "the priority" in Nevada, Gibbons has released political ads stating that Titus voted against funding education first.

"That was not a vote; that is something that was very distorted," Titus said. "That's one of the things that sounds good and does nothing."

Titus explained that "Education First" was a Gibbons initiative that sought to use the state budget to fund education before anything else, which adequately funds education or allows it to benefit from a budget surplus.

"If you fund it first, when you can't open up the budget in the end, then you've short-changed education," Titus said.

Titus added that Gibbons "voted against class size reduction … cut student loans at the national level … (and ) got a zero ranking by national PTA."

"I know the importance (of education) because I see it every day in my classroom," Titus said, adding that she supports using "some of" the budget surplus for the Millennium Scholarship.

"Right now the surplus is predicted to be about $200 million. Endowing the Millennium Scholarship would be a one-shot deal," instead of a recurring expense.

Titus also said she supports finding a path for the children of undocumented immigrants to continue receiving the Millennium Scholarship, stating that they should be able to get the scholarship if they earn it.

"You can't help where your parents are from," Titus said.

Titus addressed her views on immigration and that her opponent employed an undocumented immigrant for years.

"It's people like him that cause the problem," Titus said of Gibbons.

"When he hit me with the driver's license ad and … bragged about (voting for the toughest laws on immigration)," Titus continued, "then suddenly his hypocrisy … was just too much."

The state Senator also talked about Gibbons dubbing her "Dina Taxes."

"In the legislature over the 18 years, we've only raised taxes twice," she said. "He actually voted for some of the same taxes that he criticized me for, and when his wife took his seat, she voted for the other ones."

When asked if she would be in favor of raising some taxes, Titus answered, "That's a hard one because people in Nevada don't like taxes."

The candidate also discussed her views on the war and how it would impact her office if she became governor.

"What happens in Iraq does affect the governor's office," Titus said, explaining that the cutting of veteran's benefits puts more burden on the state. "My personal opinion is that we were led into that war with false pretenses … we have no exit strategy … I don't see it as being the right choice."

Titus also answered questions regarding some of the current ballot proposals.

"I supported medical marijuana when it was on the ballot … I also supported de-felonizing possession. But I am not supporting Question 7 … there's too many questions of enforcement."

Titus said she believes the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage will pass.

"I support that," Titus said. "Nevada is the fastest growing state in the creation of jobs, but not necessarily the creation of good jobs … we want to attract jobs … where they do pay good wages."

"No one can live on $5.15 an hour."

Titus, who is ahead of Gibbons according to a recent Zogby poll, discussed the importance of Nevadans becoming involved with local and national politics.

"Nevada was chosen as an early caucus state," Titus explained. "We're going to be on the front lines in the presidential election. We've got Bill Clinton coming this Thursday (to help with the campaign)."

"The future is yours, you will be so affected by what takes place now," Titus said, saying that young people's disinterest in politics "just distresses me … they have the most at stake."

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Ensign makes last-minute campaign stop in Pahrump

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:56 pm

Pahrump Valley Times wrote:Nov. 01, 2006

Ensign makes last-minute campaign stop in Pahrump

By MARK WAITE
The Pahrump Valley Times

A politically uneducated girl on the Pahrump Valley High School Senior Council asked U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., what party he belonged to.

Ensign said when he was a youth he was a Democrat. He switched to being a Republican based on former President Ronald Reagan's advice, to "look for people you agree with 80 percent of the time."

"As I got older, and I'm a veterinarian by profession, and I own my own business, I realized the policies Democrats support actually hurt a lot of people they were trying to help," Ensign said in a brief civics lesson to the council in the high school auditorium Monday.

Ensign cited the welfare system, which he said creates a dependency cycle; 60 percent of the people who used to be on welfare are off it thanks to the welfare reform bill.

Students will have decades before they have to worry about retirement, but Ensign advised them to think about their future. "When Social Security first started there were 40 workers for every one retiree, 40. Today there are four. The system doesn't work on those kind of numbers," Ensign said.

He told the students, "If young people aren't involved in the political process to cast votes, to find out what candidates are about, it's very easy to scare senior citizens. People will say, for instance, we need to change Social Security. That scares people."

The No Child Left Behind Act, raised by a couple students, was a subject closer to home.

"It was put in for the right intentions, and that is to bring some accountability into the schools. It is moving our schools in the right direction. We are improving our schools because of it. But it has some serious flaws that need to be fixed," Ensign said.

The act can create problems in a fast-growing state like Nevada, he said. Educators in the state are being consulted for their opinions, he said, as the act is up for reauthorization next year.

Nevada has to be compared not with neighboring states, but with other countries, Ensign said. "You have to have a national focus, but most of the control at the local level," Ensign said of the act. He said claims it's an unfunded federal mandate are false. "It says right in the law, you don't have to comply with it if there's not enough funding."

Asked to elaborate on the flaws, Ensign said one student can affect the ranking of a whole class. He added that, in transitory communities like Pahrump, a group of students can improve over the year, but then another group will come in, making it look as if there's no progress.

One students asked about the problem with North Korea, which recently tested a nuclear weapon. Ensign said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is a madman and North Korea is a thoroughly dangerous regime. "When they sell nuclear technology to Iran, you've got big problems," Ensign said. "We live in an incredibly dangerous world today. It's one thing to fly an airplane into a building and kill a lot of people, but it's nothing compared to what a weapon of mass destruction can do."

Ensign told another student the approval of ballot Question 7, legalizing the sale of small quantities of marijuana would be a "tremendous mistake." Marijuana leads to other drugs, he said, while its legalization would negate the positive effects of drug court programs. But he added, "I don't believe people that use marijuana should be in jail."

During an interview after the high school speech, Ensign lashed out against his opponent, Democrat Jack Carter, who has campaigned hard in Nye County and blasted Ensign for voting with President Bush 97 percent of the time.

"It's completely false. This is only scoring one out of five votes. We already told him that over half of those votes are unanimous or near unanimous votes. Harry Reid even voted with him (Bush) 60 percent of the time," Ensign said. "I have a reputation with working with Senator Reid in a bipartisan fashion for the state."

While he visited Desert View Regional Medical Center, Ensign talked about getting federal funds in the future to ensure the new hospital doesn't shut down. Ensign presented a check for a $17.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for construction of the facility in June 2005.

Asked about Pahrump's infrastructure needs, like highway funding. Ensign was blunt: "Highway 160 going into Las Vegas is a disaster."

Ensign said he voted against the Medicare part D prescription drug program.

"This bill was too big, too expensive and too bureaucratic," he said. "My bill was better for lower-income seniors, the ones who truly needed the help. I don't believe that wealthy seniors should get the help from taxpayers on a benefit they didn't pay for."

Ensign bristled at the suggestion he hasn't spent enough time in Pahrump during the campaign. Ensign said he's visited Pahrump frequently during his six-year term, where his family has run the Pahrump Nugget Casino, at least until today. He said Carter is a newcomer to the state who claims he knows about Nevada issues.

"You have a lot more time when you're not working. I have responsibilities in Washington. I've tried to get around to every part of the state during the campaign," Ensign said.

Immigration is a huge issue, the senator said.

"Securing the borders is very important, and the fence is part of it. The reason you need the fence is for the urban areas," he said. Ensign said a border fence would prevent the operation of safe houses in border cities that are making money harboring illegal aliens.

When asked about money from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act he co-authored with former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., in Nye County, Ensign said the federal government is planning to reduce the fuel levels in the Spring Mountains to reduce the danger of wild fires. The act uses proceeds from the sale of public lands for various environmental programs, while 10 percent of the fund goes to education, though Ensign said that money is committed to the state general fund.


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Motion in works to suppress pot bust in Ranchos

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:20 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Motion in works to suppress pot bust in Ranchos

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service
November 3, 2006


MINDEN - The lawyer for a man accused of growing $400,000 worth of marijuana at a Gardnerville Ranchos residence is expected to file a motion Monday to suppress a search warrant and the 50 pounds of evidence seized that led to the arrest.

A hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed with the case was postponed Thursday when lawyer Derrick Lopez said he intended to file the motion on behalf of client James Gilbert, 41.

"Our motion to suppress is based on the fact that the affidavit for the search warrant doesn't contain evidence that it was unlawful for the resident to grow marijuana," Lopez said.

"Therefore, if there is no valid warrant, the evidence is suppressed," he said.

The state will have an opportunity to respond to the motion and East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl is to hear arguments on Nov. 22.

Gilbert, 41, was arrested after a drug raid at the home he shared with Teresa Jo Ortega.

The suspects maintain they have medical marijuana permits from the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

Gilbert and Ortega were accused of having 11 mature plants growing in their backyard. The medical marijuana permit he held reportedly allowed Gilbert to have three mature plants and four immature plants.

Lopez said at an earlier hearing the home's previous tenant also had a permit, which would have allowed the pair to have 14 plants in all.

Ortega bailed out of jail and Gilbert was released on his own recognizance and placed on house arrest under the supervision of the alternative sentencing department.

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Marijuana advocate avoids jail

Postby palmspringsbum » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:39 pm

KVBC Channel 3 TV wrote:Marijuana advocate avoids jail


Nov 10, 2006 11:13 AM PST
KVBC Channel 3 TV


<table class=posttable align=right width=300><tr><td class=postcell><img class=postimg width=300 src=bin/werner_pierre.jpg></td></tr></table>A local man who admits to growing, selling, and smoking his own marijuana dodges a major legal bullet. We've been following the story of Pierre Werner for several years now. He's an advocate for medical marijuana who prosecutors call a drug dealer.

Despite a felony conviction, Werner won't be headed to prison. Judge Valerie Adair says she doesn't think prison time is the answer. Instead, Werner will serve three years probation. But prosecutors aren't convinced he'll follow the rules.

Pierre Werner has never denied he smokes pot. In fact, he's done it on camera more than once. Werner says he needs the drug for his bipolar disorder. But prosecutors believe he's well beyond the bounds of what medical marijuana laws intended.

Last year, Werner was arrested after police found more than 100 marijuana plants at his Las Vegas home. He later pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to sell. At Thursday's sentencing, Judge Adair had the option of sending Werner to prison. But decided probation was a better fit if he stays out of trouble.

Outside the courtroom Werner told News 3 he's thankful to be going home. "I wanted to explain to the judge I wanted to go to Amsterdam to buy my medicine. I don't want to grow anymore. I want to go buy it at Walgreens or a CVS pharmacy."

Werner is not giving up, however. He still wants a business license to sell medical marijuana and he plans to pursue it in civil court. The judge says if Werner violates any part of his probation, she'll have no choice but to put him behind bars.

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Medical marijuana advocate gets 3 years probation

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:30 pm

The Las Vegas Sun wrote:November 10, 2006

Medical marijuana advocate gets 3 years probation in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas SUN

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A medical marijuana advocate was sentenced to three years probation in a case that had been seen as a test of Nevada's medical marijuana program.

A judge told Pierre Werner, 35, that he was getting a break instead of prison time after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Clark County District Court Judge Valerie Adair said Werner no longer could supply marijuana to other people.

"Right now I'm going to believe that the people you sold to were people who really needed it," Adair said during sentencing on Thursday. "But you don't get to decide that anymore."

Werner could have gotten up to four years in prison. The judge warned him that if he is found him in violation of any state law, she will sentence him to prison.

Werner has a license to use marijuana to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder. He said he grew pot for 50 other medical marijuana users because conflicting state laws made it difficult for them to get the drug.

Authorities said police found 45 marijuana plants and two ounces of the drug at Werner's home in 2004.

A prosecutor on Thursday called Werner "nothing more than a glorified drug dealer."

Werner has sued the state Department of Agriculture, which regulates medical marijuana, claiming state law gives him the right to operate a medical marijuana store in Clark County. That case is pending.

Nevada voters in 2000 approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, allowing patients with state licenses to keep up to an ounce of marijuana to treat doctor-diagnosed medical conditions.

---

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

--


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Lawyer: Suspect had permit for marijuana

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:43 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:

Lawyer: Suspect had permit for marijuana



by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service
November 11, 2006

Even though law enforcement officers could smell marijuana from outside the residence of James Gilbert and knew he had served three years in federal prison on drug charges, they failed to legally obtain a warrant to search his residence, the suspect's lawyer says.

Derrick Lopez, Gilbert's attorney, filed a motion in East Fork Justice Court to suppress the 50 pounds of marijuana plants that officers seized when they raided Gilbert's residence Oct. 5.

The marijuana has a street value of $400,000, according to reports.

Lopez said the officers failed to investigate whether Gilbert and housemate Teresa Jo Ortega, 43, had a lawful right to grow marijuana.

The suspects had been issued permits by the Nevada Department of Agriculture for medical marijuana.

"The fact that a person possesses a medical marijuana permit does not alone constitute probable cause to search a person or their property," Lopez wrote in his motion.

"The search warrant was issued without probable cause to believe evidence of a crime would be found at the residence."

Gilbert, 42, and Ortega, 43, were arrested after an early-morning raid at their Kathy Way residence.

Officers confiscated 11 plants including one that was 6 feet high and 20 feet wide. They estimated the yield at 50 pounds.

Gilbert's prior record includes a 1997 arrest in Barstow, Calif., after officers found 1,184 marijuana plants. He served three years in federal prison.

The search warrant was obtained after a probation officer knocked on the door looking for a suspect and could smell the marijuana from the sidewalk.

"The odor of growing marijuana does not rise above mere suspicion," Lopez wrote in his motion filed Monday. "A failure to investigate whether the occupants had a lawful right to grow marijuana constitutes a reckless indifference to the truth."

East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl set a hearing for Nov. 22 to hear arguments on the motion.


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Pot bust evidence will stay in for now

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:01 pm

The Record-Courier wrote:Pot bust evidence will stay in for now

by Sheila Gardner, sgardner@recordcourier.com
November 26, 2006
The Record-Courier


East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl refused to suppress a search warrant and evidence that led to two arrests and the seizure of 50 pounds of marijuana, but invited the suspects' lawyers to revisit the issue at a Jan. 13 preliminary hearing.

He heard arguments Nov. 22 by defense attorney Derrick Lopez that his client, James Gilbert, had a permit for medical marijuana, therefore officers should not have raided his Ranchos residence on Oct. 5.

Lopez said officers had enough time to check with the state Department of Agriculture to determine whether Gilbert, 42, and homeowner Teresa Jo Ortega, 43, had permits.

Both claimed they did, and Ortega said hers was confiscated by officers along with $7,100 cash which she petitioned to have returned.

Gilbert and Ortega face several felony charges in connection with the cultivation of 11 marijuana plants with a street value of $400,000 according to authorities.

Gilbert's prior record includes a 1997 arrest in Barstow, Calif., after officers found 1,184 marijuana plants. He served three years in federal prison.

The search warrant was obtained after a probation officer knocked on the door at the home on Kathy Way looking for a fugitive and could smell the marijuana from the sidewalk.

"The information was only a telephone call away," Lopez said. "The Department of Agriculture can release information to law enforcement agencies."

He said officers had three days to investigate whether Gilbert had a permit.

"The information is in the state's hands and they don't check. If that's not reckless omission, then what is?" Lopez asked.

Prosecutor Mike McCormick argued that the defense was asking the court to require law enforcement officers to rule out all possible defenses before applying for a search warrant.

"It never occurred to me as a reasonably prudent person that my government would ever issue a medical marijuana permit to someone with Mr. Gilbert's background," EnEarl said.

According to court files, Ortega obtained a medical marijuana permit to treat pain she suffered following traffic accidents in 1994 and 2000.

She had a prescription for Marinol, a drug that contains the main ingredient for marijuana which she claimed was ineffective in treating her pain.

She obtained a permit for medical marijuana in January.

Lawyer Jack Sheehan, requesting the return of Ortega's money, presented loan agreements that showed the amounts she borrowed and when.

Ortega faces charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gilbert was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to appear on a Carson City traffic warrant.

EnEarl denied the motion to suppress at the conclusion of a one-hour hearing and set the matter for preliminary hearing Jan. 12.

At that time, the state is required to prove probable cause that a crime occurred and Gilbert is the suspect.

"This may well not survive the preliminary," EnEarl said, "but you are welcome in bringing the issue back up in District Court. I would encourage you to appeal it to the Supreme Court, if necessary."

EnEarl said he found no evidence that officers concealed knowledge of the medical marijuana permits prior to the arrests.

Sheehan asked that the Ortega preliminary hearing be set after Gilbert's.

McCormick added there was "high probability" that her money would be returned at the end of the week.

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Marijuana prescription no defense in DUI case

Postby palmspringsbum » Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:43 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Marijuana prescription no defense in DUI case

Geoff dornan
Appeal Capitol Bureau, gdornan@nevadaappeal.com
The Nevada Appeal
December 13, 2006

The Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled a doctor's letter recommending medical marijuana is no defense in a DUI case.

George Peter Lynard was convicted of two counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing the death of another person. He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of up to 20 years each.

But the district court granted his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his trial lawyer ineffective for not presenting in evidence that Lynard had a California prescription for medical marijuana.

The state appealed, arguing a letter from a California doctor recommending use of marijuana for a medical condition should not be allowed as a defense to Nevada DUI charges.

Justices Nancy Becker, Ron Parraguirre and James Hardesty agreed with Washoe district attorneys and reversed the district court decision.

They pointed out the letter from Lynard's doctor is not a valid California prescription for a controlled substance. And, in any event, they said, it isn't a valid out-of-state prescription.

They also pointed out there is no language in Nevada law which allows drivers who have valid prescriptions to drive while impaired.

"Thus, the fact that Lynard may have legally ingested marijuana in California before the accident was irrelevant to the DUI counts charged under an impairment theory," they wrote.



• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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Nevada governor seeks review of agriculture chief

Postby palmspringsbum » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:01 pm

The Las Vegas Sun wrote:January 30, 2007

Nevada governor seeks review of agriculture chief

By BRENDAN RILEY
The Las Vegas Sun

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Gov. Jim Gibbons has asked a state board to conduct another review of Nevada Agriculture Director Don Henderson, a month after the board gave Henderson passing marks in an annual evaluation.

Melissa Subbotin, press secretary for Gibbons, confirmed that the governor's office sought the state Board of Agriculture re-evaluation of Henderson, who was appointed to his position by former Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2003 after serving for five years as deputy director.

The governor "has been evaluating all departments," Subbotin said. "He asked the board to evaluate his (Henderson's) position, to re-examine his current status."

Subbotin said "several different factors" prompted the request for the review. When asked whether a 2006 audit critical of the agency was a factor, she said she didn't know.

Asked about the new review, Henderson said, "The board evaluated me in December and I came through satisfactorily." He added that while the state Board of Agriculture hired him, that's done with the approval of the governor.

Prior to joining the state, Henderson worked for a private consulting firm in Carson City. His background includes years of experience in rangeland ecology and management.

Benny Romero, chairman of the agriculture board, didn't immediately return calls to his ranch in Lyon County.

A 2006 legislative audit of the Agriculture Department, reviewed at the same Dec. 4 meeting in Las Vegas where Henderson's performance was reviewed, cited problems including a failure by the agency to collect more than $200,000 in fiscal 2004 because of "billing and collection weaknesses."

The audit also stated that the agency lacked cost information on its programs "which is essential for ensuring fees are set at the appropriate level." Also cited was a lack of controls to "adequately safeguard money collected and the equipment inventory."

The Agriculture Department oversees several divisions charged with protecting the state's farming and ranching industries. The agency has about 100 employees scattered throughout the state.

The agency also regulates medical marijuana. Nevada voters in 2000 approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, allowing patients with state licenses to keep up to an ounce of marijuana to treat doctor-diagnosed medical conditions.

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Federal government stands in the way

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:41 pm

The Nevada Appeal wrote:Federal government stands in the way of a state-run medical marijuana distribution

<table class=posttable align=right width=256><tr><td class=postcell><img class=postimg width=256 src=bin/laughlin_chandler.jpg></td></tr><tr><td class=postcell><span class=postbold>Silver City resident and medical marijuana user Chandler Laughlin displays some of the marijuana in his possession. Laughlin believes the state shouldn't be involved with marijuana.</span></td></tr></table>
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal
By Dave Frank
February 4, 2008

The water, the lights, the seeds, the soil. The problem could be several things.

Some patients will learn how to grow, said Claude Miller, a Nevada medical marijuana consultant. Some won't.

"There's patients who can't grow a flower," he said. "Much less medical marijuana."

That's part of the reason he started his business. Many of the 900 patients in Nevada's program know little about the plant when they register.

But those patients, despite a provision in state law, must grow their marijuana themselves or find a state-approved "caregiver" who will grow it for them.

"(Marijuana) is a godsend and it really helps people," said Miller, who supports medical marijuana only under a tightly regulated system.

Patients, however, will not be able to get the drug like other prescriptions the state recognizes unless the federal government changes its stance.

Following a 2000 ballot initiative, the state Legislature wrote the constitutional amendment into law including a section that ordered the University of Nevada School of Medicine to research marijuana and develop a program to distribute it to patients.

The 2001 law says the Legislature understands the state's "obligation" to research a distribution program, but also says it must do it with the permission from the federal government.

The ballot initiative, approved by 65 percent of voters, called for "appropriate methods for supply of the plant to patients authorized to use it." These patients include residents diagnosed with illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma and AIDS.

The federal government, however, rejects the opinion of the 12 states with medical marijuana programs.

"Smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science," according to the Web site of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "(It) is not medicine, and it is not safe."

<span class=postbigbold>Federal authority</span>

Federal policy, supported by the past three presidents, has stalled research and development of a state distribution program.

Dr. Dave Lupan, an associate dean at the state school of medicine, said the university has made "no progress whatsoever" on the legislature's mandate. It will stay that way at least until there is a new president, he said.

It is unlikely the policy will change under the next administration, though. Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney do not support legalizing medical marijuana. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are undecided.

But the university would have more problems than policy if it tried to start a program. Not only does the federal government have no interest in the school's research, Lupan said, the state has given no money for it.

"It's not only a matter of bucking federal government authority," he said, but of finding doctors to work for free.

The federal government itself has had medical marijuana evaluated several times. A 1999 federally-commissioned study by the Institute of Medicine reported, "the accumulated data indicates a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation."

The Federal Drug Administration, however, said in 2006 the medical use of the drug is not supported by science.

<span class=postbigbold>Green and black thumbs</span>

A change in federal policy that led to state distribution could, according to supporters, help many patients.

Jennifer Bartlett, who manages the current state program through the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said "there are some who can't grow it, and it's a struggle."

She has not endorsed state distribution, however, and said many patients have no problems growing their own marijuana or finding a caregiver.

A state program would help all patients, though, not just those who have difficulty growing it, said Dan Hart, who managed the group that led the medical marijuana ballot initiative.

The state could make sure the medicine was good quality, he said, and this also would particularly help patients with a debilitating disease.

But some medical marijuana advocates, such as Chandler Laughlin, said the state should not be involved with marijuana and that a state-run program is a bad idea.

The Silver City resident and radio host did say many patients like him can't grow high quality marijuana.

"I have a black thumb," he said.

Bruce Mirken, who supports marijuana legalization, said a state-run program could make it easier for the state to both guarantee effective use for patients and track illegal use by others.

It can't be difficult for patients to get the medicine they need under the current program, he said.

"You could grow your own tomatoes, but if all your plants die, you don't have a salad that day," said Mirken, a representative for the Marijuana Policy Project, which has unsuccessfully pushed ballot initiatives in Nevada to partially legalize marijuana.

<span class=postbigbold>A model program</span>

If Nevada eventually does set up a distribution program, it probably won't be the first state to do it.

New Mexico, which legalized medical marijuana in April, is working on the rules its department of health would need to run a distribution program.

This will allow patients to get the drug the way other patients get their medicine, said Reena Szczepanski, director of the anti-drug prohibition New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance. It would help prevent patients from going to the black market, she said.

But New Mexico's system might not work for Nevada, because of the state's sparsely populated areas. She said a state-run system where the drug is distributed through pharmacies might be better for Nevada.

The federal government itself has the only active government-run distribution program in the country. The Compassionate Investigational New Drug program was started in 1978 and closed to new patients by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. A few people are still in the program, though, and they get monthly supplies of marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi.

Miller, head of Nevada Medical Marijuana Consultants, said a state-run distribution program could be good for Nevada, but the state should be careful not to legalize it or regulate it the way California does, with marijuana available at licensed clubs.

"We don't want a bunch of drug-dealing thugs in this," he said.

But Miller, who became a patient after a spine surgery, said the drug is more safe and effective for many people who would otherwise be prescribed pain killers. Those people, he said, deserve to have their medicine.

Opponents, he said, don't understand the research or the state's program.

"We're not just a bunch of yahoos smoking reefer," he said.



• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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Dr. Reefer's Business Goes to Pot

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:45 pm

The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote:Mar. 30, 2009 | Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dr. Reefer's Business Goes to Pot

<span class=postbigbold>Advocate of marijuana's medicinal qualities moving on after prison sentence</span>

By RICHARD LAKE
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL


<table class=posttable align=right><tr><td class=postcell><img class=postimg src=bin/werner_pierre-and-mom.jpg alt="Pierre Werner and his mom, Reyna Barnett, stand Thursday in front of a billboard for Dr. Reefer, a medical marijuana referral agency operated by Barnett. Werner was recently released from prison after he was caught growing dozens of pot plants, which he says were for medical purposes.">
</td></tr></table>A couple of years back, a guy named Pierre Werner went to prison. It made the papers. It was his own fault.

The prison sentence followed Werner getting caught growing many dozens of marijuana plants in his house, which he swears he was doing for medical purposes.

The growing of the pot plants came after much pot smoking -- a lot of it, he admitted, had nothing to do with the drug's medicinal qualities.

All that pot smoking came after a prison stint in New Jersey for, well, for selling lots and lots of pot.

The Jersey time came after an episode involving nudity and an ill-fated attempt at walking from Southern California to Las Vegas.

The naked episode came after many other strange things in the life of Pierre Werner.

The latest bit of strange?

The Dr. Reefer billboard out on Decatur Boulevard near the Las Vegas Beltway in the southern end of town. It's an ad for a business that hooks up potential marijuana smokers with a doctor who will help them do it legally.

"I've always considered marijuana a medicine," said Werner, now 37 and out of prison. "Just the way it makes me feel."

Werner got out of prison back in November. He is unemployed and lives with his mother. He's on parole until next month, which means he's drug tested all the time.

Werner swears he's not smoking right now.

As soon as his parole is over, he's leaving Nevada for good, he said. He can't take it anymore. And besides, if he gets caught selling pot here again, he could get locked up for 20 years.

"There's no way I'll sell marijuana in Nevada," he said. "I don't even want to stay in Nevada. No thanks. Not worth it."

He wants to go to Amsterdam, where he was born, or to California, which is more friendly to medical marijuana smokers.

Nevada's voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 2000. Patients who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition (cancer or glaucoma, among others) are allowed to possess small amounts of the drug.

They also are allowed to grow it for their own use.

They are not allowed to grow it for lots and lots of people and then sell it to them.

Which is where Werner got into trouble in 2004.

He was an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana then. He admitted that he was your basic recreational user before a 1998 incident in which he simply lost it, psychologically speaking.

In Southern California at the time, he decided he needed to be in Las Vegas. And so he stripped all his clothes off and began to walk.

That led, eventually, to a diagnosis: bipolar disorder. He was given lithium, which "turned me into a zombie," he said.

However, pot fixed everything, he said.

He began operating a business in Las Vegas that helped patients connect with doctors.

He talked of opening a cannabis club, like they have in California. He grew his own pot. He also decided that he would grow pot for other patients.

That is illegal.

"My medicine was the best in the world," he said.

According to the state Department of Health, the law for people registered in the medical marijuana program allows the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana; the possession of four mature marijuana plants; and the possession of three immature marijuana plants.

When the cops were called to Werner's house, they found dozens of pot plants.

He went to prison.

And what of his referral business? That's where his mother comes in.

Whenever patients would call the business while Werner was in prison, his mom would help them out. He would give her advice over the phone, from prison, on how to work the system.

Now, she operates the business, drreefer.com, full time. Werner swears he has nothing to do with it now, other than promoting it.

"It bothered me," said Reyna Barnett, 58, Werner's mom, when asked about his pot smoking as a young man.

She hated that he smoked pot, that he sold it, and that he went to prison for it.

And then came the bipolar diagnosis. The zombie-like lithium experience.

Marijuana seemed to fix him, Barnett said. And so she began to sympathize.

More and more, she worked with the patients that her son used to help.

"I like to help people," she said.

What she does, for a fee, is help people fill out the necessary government paperwork.

She helps them make an appointment with a cause-friendly doctor (any licensed doctor can prescribe marijuana in Nevada).

Well then, just who is this sympathetic doctor, anyway?

For fear of harming the doctor's reputation, Werner and Barnett won't reveal any details, other than this one: It is a local pediatrician.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307.


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Marijuana activists take stand against bill

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:38 pm

The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote:Mar. 31, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Marijuana activists take stand against bill

By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU

CARSON CITY -- Medical marijuana advocates testified Monday that a bill prescribing prison sentences for growing more than seven marijuana plants will prevent sick people from getting their "medicine."

"This bill would send many patients to prison," testified Pierre Werner, a former medical marijuana patient who spent 19 months in prison.

Under current law, the sentence for growing marijuana for sale depends on the pounds of marijuana grown. Senate Bill 262 targets medical marijuana card holders and bases their sentence on the number of plants they are growing.

Medical marijuana patients can grow up to seven plants if they hold a card from the state Health Division. Nevada voters in 2000 approved a ballot measure to allow medical marijuana for people with illnesses who have a doctor's authorization to use the drug.

The proposed measure states a medical marijuana patient with eight or more plants would be considered as having "prima facie evidence" of cultivating marijuana for purpose of sale.

Having one to 25 plants in excess of the allowed limit would be a felony punishable by one to six years in prison. Harsher sentences would apply according to how many plants the patient possessed.

A patient with 500 or more marijuana plants in excess of the allowed amount could be sentenced to three to 15 years in prison and fined as much as $100,000.

During the hearing, witnesses said police exaggerate the amount of usable marijuana that each plant can produce.

"Most plants are grown indoors," marijuana advocate Michael McCullough told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "They are lucky to get 1 or 2 ounces per plant."

But he said police will state a single plant produces a pound or two of marijuana.

After the hearing, Sen. Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas, said she did not intend to target legitimate medical marijuana users.

She introduced the bill at the request of Las Vegas police, who told her they were concerned a "drug cartel" might be cultivating pot in Nevada for purposes of sale.

"My intent is to get those doing it for profit," she said.

"I am a cancer survivor," Copening added. "I know a lot of people who have medical marijuana licenses smoke it to induce an appetite. I understand the need for these patients. It also is necessary for some for pain management."

During the hearing, Werner said the bill should be changed to allow patients to grow as many as 99 plants. He said patients need a 24-ounce supply every 90 days.

"It is ridiculous to expect people on chemotherapy to grow their own medicine," he added. "We need a system where they can buy it. Charge a $50 per ounce tax, and it would bring in millions for Nevada."

He backed a medical marijuana clinic system such as the one in California, where patients can buy several varieties of marijuana.

A total of 564 people have permits to use medical marijuana, according to the state Health Division.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.


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Education funding debated at town hall meeting in Henderson

Postby palmspringsbum » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:10 pm

"Nevada is one of 14 states with laws allowing people to grow the plants for medicinal uses but does not allow growers to sell it."

The Las Vegas Sun wrote:Education funding debated at town hall meeting in Henderson

By Jeff Pope
The Las Vegas Sun
Sat, Apr 4, 2009 (11:17 p.m.)

<span class=postbigbold>Nevada Speaks</span>

Green Valley High School senior Callie Kitral hopes she can attend the College of Southern Nevada in the fall.

Budget cuts already forced the community college to block out classes for the fall semester that she said she wanted to take.

With additional cuts to Nevada’s higher education institutions looming, Kitral attended a “Nevada Speaks” town hall meeting Saturday hosted by state Sens. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, and Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, hoping to hear the legislators say they had a plan to fund the state’s schools.

Kitral said she would be willing to pay more in taxes if it meant the money would ensure she access to a good education.

“It’s kind of our ticket to life and getting our life started,” she said.

Several others in the audience of about 65 people said they wouldn’t oppose raising taxes if it meant education, transportation and health care could be preserved.

The Senate likely won’t make any decisions on taxes for at least three weeks as committees review and discuss proposed legislation, said Woodhouse, whose 5th District was the site of the town hall meeting at the Silver Springs Recreation Center, 1951 Silver Springs Parkway, in Henderson.

Lawmakers discovered earlier this week that the state’s budget shortfall grew $500 million because of declining tax revenues. Previous estimates had put the funding shortfall to maintain current service levels at $1.8 billion.

That has legislators rethinking where the bottom line is, Woodhouse said.

“I’m going to stay positive and say we’re going to find some dollars,” she said. “If we do raise taxes, we will need everybody at the table. We don’t raise taxes on one group. It’s just not fair. The funds that we raise go out to everyone.”

As for education, Woodhouse, a retired teacher, said funding for K-12 and higher education might take a hit, but it wouldn’t be as drastic as Gov. Jim Gibbons proposed in his budget.

The meeting included a vocal group of about 15 people who want the state to legalize the sale of medicinal marijuana. Nevada is one of 14 states with laws allowing people to grow the plants for medicinal uses but does not allow growers to sell it.

It could be taxed and raise tens of millions to fill a portion of the state’s budget gap and save even more money on law enforcement, said Pierre Werner, who spent 19 months in prison for selling marijuana but said he was punished harshly for a non-violent crime. Werner is opposed to Senate Bill 262, which would increase the prison sentences for marijuana growers.

“It’s barbaric to force medical marijuana users to grow their own medicine,” he said. “I’d like some pit bulls in the Senate to help us. I don’t think non-violent offenders should be treated harsher than violent offenders.”

Schneider has proposed four bills on alternative medicines, which he said relate to a variety of medical issues from stem cells to herbs, but he did not directly mention marijuana.

Politicians have been largely conservative on issues of alternative medicines previously, but that stance is changing, Schneider said.

“We are going to get very aggressive at the state in alternative medicine. People are looking at this through a broader lens now,” he said.

Lawmakers will host “Nevada Speaks” meetings on April 18 at the Doolittle Community Center, 1950 North J St., and May 2 at the Sun City MacDonald Ranch Community Center, 2020 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway.

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