In an excerpt from the Vegas Seven’s recent roundtable, local lawyers shared thoughts on some possible developments as Nevada looks past 2016’s approval of Question 2.
Ogonna Brown: A lot of my business clients are calling me saying, ‘As a business owner, what should I be putting in employee handbooks about marijuana?’ It’s so fresh and so new, I take a deep breath, do some research, figure it out.
Even though Nevada wasn’t one of the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana, I think Nevada is going to become very important with how that is viewed in a business context. So many employees of casinos and these huge unions—it’s going to be really interesting and I think we’re going to be on the forefront of changing that.
Jennifer Taylor: I saw an article this morning in the Review-Journal about the district attorney’s office and the police department, being at odds. I’m curious how the judges will react now before it becomes effective in January. There’s some immediate change. It’s not going to be slow, because that moves pretty quickly on stuff. And there’s money to be made. You’re taxing it, which means it helps your citizens.
Have you been to one of the grows? It is amazing, seriously: Here’s a seed, I’m going to barcode it. Here is the bloom, we’re going to track it. Then they even barcode the debris and the leaves. One of my friends worked on that campaign, Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. I’m like, “If alcohol was regulated like this…”
Amy Rose: I think for us though, the biggest win on Question 2 is that, people won’t be prosecuted for low-level drug crimes. That is such a huge win for them, for some people who are stuck in jail because they can’t afford the bail money, though they had just a little pot on them. Now they’ve lost their job, maybe they’re going to lose their kids and now they can’t be a productive member of society anymore. It’s really great to see the people say, ‘This isn’t what we want to do with our tax dollars.’ I think that is going to be such a huge impact on us and in our criminal justice system. Frees people, frees up public defenders’ time, it frees up the prosecutors’ time to focus on real crimes and issues, violent crimes.
Nic Danna: I see what it does to a secondary market where young people have cards and they’re going to buy… and sell it to kids they know. Granted, that’s something you have to deal with anyway and I understand there’s a large percentage of the population that engages in this anyway, but it would make it even easier to distribute to high schools.
Amy Rose: I think it’s a fair point—obviously with that big a change, there’s going to be other ramifications that you couldn’t have anticipated. They already have other problems in other states, but personally and from our perspective, it’s worth it because we are not going to be prosecuting for low level drug crimes. That is huge, that’s going to be such a big impact on our low-income communities, on people whose lives have been destroyed by this. Even if there are some negatives, that positive is such a huge win for us.