Dueling Views: Nevada Senate Bill 374

Senate Bill 374 brought medicinal marijuana to Nevada. Three dispensaries are in the works for Incline Village. Are you ready for the change

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nick

Young Americans are exposed to marijuana and other drugs most prevalently in college. College is for trying new things and exploring our boundaries, right? But because Nevada legalized medicinal marijuana, are we more inclined to try? Especially since three new medical marijuana dispensaries will open in our college’s backyard.

The state of Nevada enacted the legalization of medicinal marijuana in 2014. Since then, dispensaries have slowly been opening up throughout the state, 16 have opened so far, with three in Reno and another three projected to open up this year in unincorporated areas of Washoe County, including Incline Village.

As a medication, marijuana, and other derived cannabinoids of the plant, can be quite remarkable. Recent studies have shown cannabidiol (CBD), an active cannabinoid in marijuana, has been shown to be extremely helpful for people suffering from epilepsy. Marijuana has also been prescribed to people diagnosed with numerous cancers, glaucoma and several psychological disorders.

While I believe dispensaries offer a great service to those who really benefit from medicinal marijuana, I also believe the hegemonic system in which prescriptions are given can be fraudulent.  

In California some doctors will hand over prescriptions to anyone for a price.  Marijuana users want to be smoking, purchasing and selling marijuana legally, so subsequently prescription cards are in demand and most demands will be met somehow.

When dispensaries plan to open up on Tahoe Boulevard, by places like Susie Scoops, I question which marijuana users they are trying to appeal to. Incline Village is a frequently visited place, and soon visitor and resident marijuana users might find it beneficial to have a prescription.  

If users can avoid shady drug deals by acquiring weed down the road, smoking a little marijuana in the dispensary shop— as often that is a service of dispensaries— and stopping by Susie Scoops for the cherry on top, you would think Incline Village has become a smokers’ paradise.  

In 2015 the Nevada Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Law was enacted, meaning prescribed users from other states can legally purchase marijuana in Nevada dispensaries.  

Therefore all these tourists we see rushing up on the weekends might feel compelled to have a little toke too.  

So really, what is stopping a college student from paying some doctor in California for a medical marijuana prescription and then finding themselves inside Incline Village dispensaries?  

What’s stopping tourists from visiting Inline Village for its marijuana dispensaries? Sadly, not much.


 

Jamie

In 2001, Nevada voters approved Question 9, a constitutional amendment legalizing the use of medical marijuana for authorized patients. Two years ago, during the 2013 Legislative session, the Nevada Senate approved Senate Bill 374, welcoming medicinal marijuana and the representation of dispensaries in Nevada. Today this law is finally coming to fruition with the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries, which are opening their doors all across the state. Since December 2015, 13,561 Nevadans became cardholders, and 2,235 live in Washoe County, according to the Nevada Division of Public Behavioral Health.

During the Nov. 8, 2016 Nevada elections, the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative will appear on the ballot. Through Nevada voter compliance, the indirect initiated status would legalize recreational use of one ounce or less of marijuana for those at least 21 years of age. This initiative would also welcome the taxation of marijuana the same as alcohol, increasing state revenue, which could benefit K-12 education.

Looking inward to our community, three medical marijuana dispensaries submitted requests to the town for approval in 2016.  The only definite plan with momentum for these new establishments is NuLeaf: a joint project with Berkeley Patients Group. NuLeaf currently has their building permit for 877 Tahoe Blvd. and is set to open around April or May.

The company is currently considered the nation’s longest operating medical cannabis dispensary and is highly noted within the Northern California community. According to an interview with the NuLeaf Operating Chief featured in the Sierra Sun, the company is expanding their experience and expertise to Nevada.  The location was chosen because of convenience, access to transportation and security capabilities. NuLeaf plans to equip the location with numerous security measures to ensure the patient’s safety and care.

With the momentum of Colorado, Washington and now Oregon paving the road for the acceptance of medicinal marijuana in our country, the support and research are well on their way to proving marijuana’s positive attributes.

Medical cannabis and recreational marijuana are creating a revolution and a new legal industry in our country. The prohibition of marijuana is coming to halt as scientists and politicians agree upon it’s assets and financial benefits.

The acceptance and education surrounding cannabis is creating an uproar with forward thinking and motivation that I believe our community should participate in.

In the past months, there has been both support and backlash in the debate regarding the placement of medicinal cannabis in our community. I find the arguments against the placement of a medical dispensary in our community to be outdated.

When Incline Village places a medical marijuana dispensary on the same street as a liquor store, it will not negatively affect our adolescent population or encourage drug abuse. It will quite possibly do the opposite, by teaching adolescents the medicinal capabilities of cannabis. Instead of teaching it as a taboo, it will educate them through a 21st-century state of mind.

Nor will the placement of a dispensary negatively impact home values, the character of the community or inflate the tourism industry. People will not come from far reaches to solely visit these dispensaries, for if so they must have a Nevada registered medical care.  

The process to obtain a Nevada Medical Card is rigorous. The system is aligned for those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, or any medical condition that causes wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, nausea, seizures or muscle spasms.   

Pardon if my ideals toward the subject are liberal, although I find it hard not to support this. The first time I was able to vote, in the last election, I watched Amendment 64 succeed and the legalization of marijuana forcefully change not only Colorado, but our country.

I have witnessed friends and family in medical need of cannabis benefit through the political evolution of this plant.

I do not think the individuals in our community rejecting the proposed dispensaries care about the side-effects, but fear a new bureaucratic acceptance in our society. As a community, it is important for us to reject the onset of fear that comes with the introduction of medical marijuana, and be open to acceptance. This will strengthen our communal values.

This addition to our community will certainly bring uncertainty to some, although those in need of this service will benefit greatly. Medical patients in our community should not need to drive to Reno or Carson to obtain the medicine they need; it should be local.

Incline Village is an established community that should welcome this new layer of our society.  I believe the introduction of medical dispensaries into Incline Village will obviously bring aid to those in need, and it will also showcase our compliance with forward thinking.

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