Newsbrief: Nevada Petition Drive to Legalize Marijuana Possession Underway 5/17/02

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Marijuana activists in Nevada last weekend began a signature-gathering drive for an initiative that would amend the state constitution to allow adults to legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana. The initiative also calls for marijuana to be taxed like tobacco and for a medical distribution system that would ensure that low cost marijuana could be obtained for medical reasons. Smoking in public while driving or operating heavy machinery would be penalized, however, and the weed couldn't be used or sold in schools, jails or prisons.

The drive is being organized by Nevadans for Effective Law Enforcement in conjunction with the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, which has provided $50,000 for the signature-gathering effort, organizers said.

Organizers are facing a very tight timeline to gather the necessary signatures. They need to get the signatures of 10% of Nevada voters -- some 61,336 -- by June 18. Under Nevada law, the petition organizers must also get signatures from 10% of registered voters in at least 13 of the state's 17 counties. Gail Tuzzolo, spokeswoman for the Nevada group, has admitted that the drive is "a long shot" given the short window of opportunity for signature-gathering, but organizers are racing to meet the deadline.

Under Nevada law, for an initiative to amend the constitution to become law, it must be passed by voters in two consecutive elections. Medical marijuana proponents were able to do just that in the 1999 and 2001 elections. Nevada also recently revised its marijuana laws so that simple possession of small amounts is no longer a felony.

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Issue #237, 5/17/02 Medical Marijuana Wars Heat Up: Activists Announce Day of Direct Action Against DEA, Plan Emergency Response to Expected Raids | Anti-Drug Ads a Flop, Says Drug Czar, Please Give Us Money for More | New Medical Marijuana Web Site Provides Forum for Warring Views, In-Depth Exploration of Issue | Budget Crunch I: As Oklahoma Goes Broke, Drug War Fuels Ever-Increasing Prison Budgets | Budget Crunch II: Massachusetts Vote Imperils All of State's Methadone Clinics, Supporters Mobilizing | Prison Reform Advocates Blast 7 UP Commercial for Trivializing Prison Rape, Call for Boycott of Cadbury Schweppes Product | Newsbrief: Nevada Petition Drive to Legalize Marijuana Possession Underway | Newsbrief: Madison Suspends Raves at County Venue | Newsbrief: Barr Booed for Anti-Pot Remarks in Home District Event | Newsbrief: Canadian Mounties Follow US Lead, Discover Drug-Terror Connection | Newsbrief: Canada Prisons Propose Ignoring Inmate Cannabis Use | Newsbrief: Afghan Warlords Allied to US Growing Rich Off Opium Trade, Says Expert | Newsbrief: Dionne Warwick Busted for Marijuana at Airport Amidst Heightened Airline Security | Newsbrief: Pipe Bong Found in Rural Illinois Mailbox | Clarification from Dana Beal | Articles and Resources | The Reformer's Calendar

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