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Legal Pot Supporters Back With New Tactic

Discussion in 'Legalization and Activism' started by Superjoint, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. By Cy Ryan, Sun Capital Bureau
    Source: Las Vegas Sun

    Carson City -- The organization that tried unsuccessfully to change the law last year to allow adults to smoke marijuana is back in Nevada testing a new strategy.
    Advertisements have been appearing on television stations in Reno sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation suggesting that more than 67 percent of teens in Nevada try marijuana before graduating from high school.

    The advertisements say that compares with 28 percent of the teens in the Netherlands, where marijuana use is allowed under some conditions.

    Neal Levine, director of state policies for the foundation based in Washington, D.C., said the comparison shows that Nevada's law is not working. Reno is the first market in the United States where the advertisement is airing, Levine said. He refused to say how much the advertising cost or how long it would run.

    In the Netherlands, adults can buy marijuana at certain stores but must show proof of age if asked.

    The foundation last year started an initiative petition in Nevada to allow adults to possess up to three ounces of marijuana without being charged with a crime. It would have set up a string of state-sanctioned shops where marijuana could be sold. Voters rejected the petition 60.7 percent to 39.3 percent. In Clark County the tally was 188,757 against and 118,633 in favor.

    Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, one of the few legislators who publicly backed the initiative petition, said she has not had any contact with the national marijuana foundation for some time.

    She said she will be working in the 2005 Legislature to bring uniformity to the laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana and being found under the influence while on the job.

    Nevada law says a motorist is guilty of driving under the influence of drugs if he is found to have 10 nanograms of THC in marijuana in his urine or 2 nanograms in his blood.

    But state Personnel Department rules say that a state worker who has 15 nanograms of THC of marijuana in his or her urine is considered under the influence. The state standard is derived from the National Health Services Administration guidelines.

    Giunchigliani said that urine tests do not show the actual THC in marijuana that can cause erratic behavior. "The blood (test) is more accurate," she said.

    Giunchigliani said using the urine sample offers the chance for an attorney to argue in court that the test is not valid.

    Levine said the foundation wants to gauge the results of its TV advertising program in Reno. It offers a website "Stopteenuse.com" to gather reaction to the advertisement.

    Levine said the government is not telling the truth about the use of marijuana among minors. The 67 percent figure comes from White House studies, according to the foundation.

    While the foundation backs adults using marijuana, it is against kids using it, Levine said.

    Advocates of marijuana decriminalization have noted that during a debate in Boston earlier this month, three of the six Democratic candidates for president admitted they had smoked marijuana. Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean all said they had used marijuana in the past.

    Giunchigliani said their answers show that marijuana is not addictive because they would not have risen to their present positions if they were hooked on the drug.

    Levine said he was not surprised by their comments but found them interesting. He said Edwards has pushed for the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on sales in California. He said Dean, as governor of Vermont, helped defeat a medical marijuana bill.

    At a later appearance in Iowa, Dean was asked if the drug should be decriminalized. He answered that would not solve the problem. But he added, "I think substance abuse should be treated as a medical problem, not a judicial problem."

    Those at the Boston debate who said they had not used marijuana were Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.

    Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV)
    Author: Cy Ryan, Sun Capital Bureau
    Published: November 21, 2003
    Copyright: 2003 Las Vegas Sun Inc.
    Contact: letters@lasvegassun.com
    Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/

    Related Articles & Web Sites:

    Marijuana Policy Project

    Stop Teen Use
  2. htat is strange that less high school kids in the netherlands have tried it compared to the us... if that doesnt get through to them i dont think anything will....
  3. I think thats a very good artical, worthy of GC post! It does my heart good to hear it SJ! Keep them comin? or at least PM me were u got that info from!

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