There are currently four states that have legalized marijuana, along with Washington D.C.. Those states of course are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. 2015 will likely see one or more states legalize marijuana via their legislature. States that try to legalize via the legislature but don’t succeed will likely push for an initiative for the 2016 election. Nevada is poised to do both. The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has turned in enough signatures to put marijuana legalization in front of the Nevada Legislature, and if the Nevada Legislature fails to pass it, it automatically goes before voters in 2016. Per the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Joe Brezny with the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said the group plans to turn in about 170,000 signatures to county clerks on Wednesday. The group needs 101,667 signatures from registered Nevada voters to qualify the measure.
Brezny said he expects to have nearly two times the number of signatures needed in each of the state’s four congressional districts.
The deadline for initiative petitions is Tuesday, but since it is Veterans Day and a state and federal holiday, Brezny said Wednesday is the deadline.
Polling has been favorable to marijuana legalization in Nevada. If enough of the signatures are validated, which I’m sure that will happen, than the Nevada Legislature will be in a similar position that the Oregon Legislature was in. The organizers behind Oregon Measure 91 came to the Oregon Legislature first to give them a chance to do what was right and end marijuana prohibition. It afforded an opportunity to the Oregon Legislature to have a say in what marijuana legalization would look like. The Oregon Legislature essentially passed on the offer, and now gets to live with the will of the voters (which is a good thing!). Hopefully the Nevada Legislature will be more sensible, and if not, here’s to Nevada legalizing in 2016!