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Legal To Grow Own in Nevada

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by Superjoint, Feb 24, 2001.

  1. By Ed Vogel, Donrey Capital Bureau
    Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

    Drag out the rototiller and get the garden ready for spring planting. It's OK, at least for now, to grow marijuana in Nevada.
    Senate Judiciary Chairman Mark James, R-Las Vegas, told his committee Friday that legislators two years ago mistakenly removed language in state law that made it illegal to grow marijuana. "We have essentially taken away the crime of growing marijuana," James said.

    At the request of the Nevada District Attorneys' Association, the Judiciary Committee agreed to introduce a bill Monday that will put back the law against growing. But passage could take months.

    As it stands, James said there is no law against growing up to 99 pounds of marijuana. Of course, he added, growers would be subject to felony possession charges if they decided to cut down and smoke their fields of marijuana.

    A person who grows more than 100 pounds of marijuana is considered a trafficker under Nevada law and still could be charged with a crime.

    Clark County District Attorney Stewart Bell said the oversight hasn't caused a big problem in the county.

    "We haven't had any horror stories because they took the language out. It hasn't hindered the criminal justice system," he said. "But manufacturing (growing marijuana) charges historically have provided us with something in between a trafficking charge and possession."

    Bell said it could be a problem if someone growing 80 or 90 pounds of marijuana is arrested by police and can only be charged with possession, which typically results in a probation sentence.

    James said his committee will not necessarily follow entirely the wishes of the District Attorneys' Association.

    James said he would not want to put back the anti-growing law if that means people with legitimate medical marijuana needs cannot get their pot.

    Sixty-five percent of Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment in November that allows patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other diseases to smoke marijuana with doctors' authorizations. A bill to implement that amendment has not yet been introduced in the Legislature.

    The constitutional amendment requires the Legislature to set up a registry of approved marijuana users and find a way for them to obtain marijuana.

    Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, has said she is drafting the implementation law and legislation to make possession of marijuana a misdemeanor. Nevada is one of the few states with a felony offense for possession of any amount of marijuana. Small users, however, can have their crimes reduced on the first two offenses if they attend drug court classes.

    "We need to move with all deliberate speed to approve what voters wanted," James said. "I applaud her efforts."

    While James would prefer to have marijuana provided through a state agricultural farm program, he stressed he does not want to put the anti-grow law back in place just yet.

    He said he doesn't want the bill to thwart voters' wishes.

    "We might clarify that going off and growing your own is a crime, except for those approved for medical marijuana," he added.

    Oregon -- a state with a medical marijuana law that has not been subject to controversy -- allows each approved user to grow seven marijuana plants.

    Note: Law making it illegal to cultivate marijuana in state changed last session.

    Review-Journal writer J.M. Kalil contributed to this report.

    Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
    Author: Ed Vogel, Donrey Capital Bureau
    Published: Saturday, February 24, 2001
    Copyright: Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2001
    Address: P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125
    Fax: (702) 383-4676
    Contact: letters@lvrj.com
    Website: http://www.lvrj.com/
     

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