The following article was written by our Treasurer, S. Rowan Wilson:
If there was ever a time to call, email, mail, fax or send message via carrier pigeon to your local Nevada Assembly and Senate members/critters to change our draconian cannabis laws, it is NOW! Nevada FINALLY has a legislative opportunity to clarify and extend the Medicinal Marijuana laws passed in 2001, NRS chapter 453. Some of the four (4) bills proposed are much better than others. There are opportunities to alter and/or amend the bills. This is all we have to deal with; all proposed new legislation for this session is complete. All bills for the entire state session were reviewed by the judiciary and released in final language this past Monday, 3/21/11. What's next in the process? Ensure the bills are referred to the correct/appropriate committee in order to be HEARD in the first place. Just like legislation at the national level, there is a danger these bills can die when referred to committee, buried and disallowed from seeing the light of day by committee members. Everything is dead in the water if they don't leave the committee(s) to be heard outside hallowed legislative halls – no testimony in front of the legislature by patients, doctors, law enforcement against prohibition – NOTHING if people don't contact their legislative critter(s) and DEMAND that these bills move forward.
(Select Bill AB 235, then select “FOR” as the radial dial in the section of “Your view” and note the box for COMMENTS at the right! Do the SAME for AB 438 and you can check the 'remember me' box to auto-populate. Note the information and your opinion is kept CONFIDENTIAL. You can also see others comments after submitting your own – the majority are FOR as of the writing of this article.)
Here is the rundown, some context and sources are listed below for the gentle reader's own perusal:
1. NONE of the proposed bills in the Nevada Assembly or Senate fully LEGALIZE and totally DE-Criminalize marijuana. (Yes, I know gentle reader. Remember, it took 10 years to even get this far so I give it another 10 before Nevada will seriously approach full legalization.)
2. A registry for medical marijuana patients will still be required; one bill (AB 438) creates a 5-9 person regulatory body, historically similar to our gaming commission which was established in Nevada to 'clean up' gambling. Another continues the DMV registry which gee, violates every single HIPPA law on the books and why no one has sued the state of Nevada and DMV, per conversations w/ ACLU people... well, let's just call this a back-up and forward measure to any of the proposed legislation. The better discussions end 'registration' at point of Prescription.
3. The main bills are Assembly (hence AB = Assembly Bill) bills AB 438 and AB 235 with lesser bills in the Senate, (SB = Senate Bill) SB 36 and SB 256.
4. The bills are bi-partisan; the RepubliCrats and DemiCans have both authored and co-sponsor legislation with varying degrees of state mandated controls.
5. Bills authorize the governing body of a city, county or town to adopt ordinances consistent with state law governing the medical use of marijuana. (Note again, MEDICAL folks!)
All bill sources can be found by going HERE (https://nelis.leg.state.nv.us/) then clicking on 'Bills' on the left, then put in the letter and number of the bill (AB438 for example), click 'Search' then click on the underlined bill number when it pops-up to read the overview, full text, votes, fiscal notes and meetings.
AGAIN, BE SURE to go register your opinion FOR (or against), leave reasonable comments (“Dude, I like smoked so much pot once...” is not as valuable as “I use it for pain and don't want to get a med card, be on a list at the DMV, it should be between me and my doctor” etc.)
(See above for more details again!)
At the end of the day, and quoting Assembly author of AB 235 (D) Paul Aizley. “Let me Emphasize what I'd like to see happen. Go to your doctor. Get a prescription. Go to a place that sells it. Buy it just like any other prescription. There should be no special fees. No high $$. The state of Nevada will make its money off the producer to the seller only – not penalizing the patient.” Kingdom of Nye county Assembly Rep Ed Goedhart (R), author of AB 438 states “The citizens of Nevada enshrined the use of Medical Marijuana in the Nevada Constitution in 1998 and 2000. The Nevada Legislature has not followed the will of the people and put in place a system that would allow patients to obtain Medical Marijuana. The current system we have is unworkable and must be changed. My common sense proposal allows patients with debilitating conditions to obtain Medical Marijuana. At the same time it regulates the entire process so patients will not have to worry about the product. It is time for these common sense reforms to be passed.”
Hopefully these sentiments will hold as the sausage-making process of law continues. We can ensure thus by reminding our lawmakers of the importance of keeping patients interests first. However, I'm reminded of Roman Empire Senator and Historian Tacitus who said “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” Bills AB 438 and AB 235 simply provide strictly framework. LET YOUR INDIVIDUAL VOICE BE HEARD!!!
http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Library/FAQ/WhichLegislatorRepresents.cfm to find your legislator and make your opinion known by calling, faxing, emailing, writing and expressing your opinion via the legislative page HERE http://leg.state.nv.us/AppCF/Opinion/76th2011/poll/
S. Rowan Wilson, MBA is a professional caregiver to hospice, elderly and the infirm. A medical cannabis patient herself and member of MPP.org, she is primarily an advocate for patients on top of being a non-paid lobbyist this session, Treasurer of the Nevada Capital Libertarian Party, owner of www.thcbakerywellness.com starting in Lyon county, Nevada 1 & ½ miles from the Bunny Ranch business park and an overall activist nerd. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for further comments, suggestions, jokes, frivolity etc.