July 9, 2012

The Nevada Supreme Court Is Likely To Clarify State’s Medical Marijuana Laws

July 9, 2012
Nevada medical Marijuana dispensaries

Nevada MarijuanaWill The Nevada Supreme Court Make A Ruling This Summer To Fix The State’s Broken Medical Marijuana System?

Contradictory decisions by two Clark County District Court judges in Nevada has resulted in two criminal cases being appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. Las Vegas police, in conjunction with the federal government, investigated and raided medical marijuana dispensaries in the Las Vegas area. Two court cases are pending before the Supreme Court as the result of contradictory rulings issued by Clark County District Judge Doug Smith and former District Judge Donald Mosley. Clark County District Court Judge Doug Smith allowed the criminal case involving the Jolly Green Meds dispensary to move forward. District Court Judge Donald Mosley, on his last day on the bench, threw out a similar case involving the Sin City Co-op dispensary.

According to media outlets in Nevada, a clarifying decision by the Nevada Supreme Court is likely this summer. However, it’s possible that the Nevada Supreme Court might not have to make a ruling. At least one Nevada lawmaker is hoping to beat the Supreme Court to the punch by setting up a regulated system.

“The people in Nevada have voted to legalize the use,” Nevada Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas told The Las Vegas Sun. “Let’s see if we can set up a system to provide it just the way we can get any other type of legal prescription drugs. The way we’re doing it now just doesn’t make sense.”

Currently under Nevada law, a caregiver can grow for only one person, and the Nevada mmj possession limit is one ounce (Click here to read Nevada’s current medical marijuana law). As someone who is enrolled in every capacity in Oregon’s medical marijuana law (patient, caregiver, and grower), I have to point out the deficiencies of Nevada’s system. Once ounce is fine when you can replace it readily. But when you either consume a lot of medicine, or it’s hard for the patient to come by, one ounce will simply not work a majority of the time. The patient is bound to go without their medicine.

Also, only being allowed to grow for one patient is ludicrous, and virtually guarantees that there will be inadequate medicine supplies and quality. On the West Coast, master growers band together, and they are sought out by patients that can’t grow their own for a multitude of reasons. That’s impossible under Nevada law. If a person is a master grower, they can only supply themselves and one other person. Everyone else is left to try to rub two sticks together to try to get their garden growing, or even worse, go without altogether.

The Nevada law was designed in such a way that it keeps a lot of people from getting their medical marijuana, even though they would be flush with medicine if they moved towards the coast. According to News Max, “Medical marijuana licensing brings in about $525,000 a year to the state through the purchase of yearly marijuana cards at $150 each.” That’s 3,500 cards. There’s more than 15 times as many cardholders in Oregon even though there’s less than 1/3 as many people. That’s a medical marijuana program fail if you ask me. Whether it’s the Nevada Supreme Court, or the Nevada legislature, something needs to be done. While politicians and attorneys argue over the details, patients are suffering with no way of relief, and that’s unacceptable.

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