Nevadans blaze over legal marijuana crackdown
The possibility that the federal government might crack down on states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use has drawn response from across Nevada’s political spectrum.
“Since Nevada voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, I have called for a well-regulated, restricted and respected industry,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “I believe Nevada’s marijuana industry is a model for other states.”
Sandoval responded to the announcement from the Department of Justice that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to rescind directives that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt said he opposed the ballot question that legalized recreational marijuana, but that he has defended the measure.
“Since Questions 2’s enactment, my office has vigorously defended it against two related lawsuits that threatened to slow or even halt the implementation of the law, and has further assisted with the formulation and adoption of regulations to allow dispensaries to commence sales of recreational marijuana within just six months of the law’s enactment,” he said. “My office has expeditiously facilitated the implementation of the law in the face of considerable uncertainty about the status of federal enforcement activity.”
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto argued that legalized marijuana is a states rights’ issue.
“Attorney General Sessions says he is a headstrong advocate for states’ rights,” she said. “In states like Nevada, voters have spoken loud and clear that marijuana must be regulated and taxed, and that the state should be able to enforce its marijuana laws without federal interference.”
While there are no legal sales of recreational marijuana in Douglas County, slightly more than a mile north of the county line, in Carson City, recreational marijuana went on sale Jan. 1.
On Friday, Chief Executive Officer Pete Kadens and Chairman Ben Kovler of Rise Dispensaries’ parent company reassured customers that their information would remain confidential.
“We do not believe this will disrupt our business or our ability to serve our patients, customers and communities to the best of our ability. Keep in mind that there is an amendment to the federal budget prohibiting federal dollars from being spent on enforcing federal marijuana laws on state operators operating in full compliance with state medical marijuana laws,” they said in a letter. “Our parent company and its subsidiaries, are in full compliance with state laws and at this moment we have no reason to be alarmed.”