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Nevada Question 9
A Medical Marijuana Initiative

Sponsor Nevadans for Medical Rights
(A Subsidiary of Americans for Medical Rights)


Nevada state ballot initiatives must be passed by voters in two consecutive elections and then taken to the legislature for final approval.  Voters approved Question 9 in 1998.  This is the second election; if the initiative passes, it will go before the Legislature in 2001.


Invalidates federal Food and Drug Administration regulations that govern approval of new medicines as safe and effective, federal drug-control laws, and international drug-control treaties.  However, federal law and international treaties prevail over state law.

Recognizing this, state officials have formed a committee of state boards of pharmacy and medical examiners, the attorney general’s office, and the UNR School of Medicine to explore how to implement Question 9 if voters pass it and at the same time stay within the confines of federal law.

What Proponents Say
“‘No one involved in this fight really believes the federal government is going to . . . start arresting people for using marijuana for medical reasons,’ said Dan Hart, leader of Nevadans for Medical Rights. . . . 'This is a battle that’s primarily fought between medical marijuana distributors and the government.’”

“The feds generally have shown that they don’t have the resources or the interest to prosecute individuals using pot.  It’s only heavy trafficking they’re interested in.”  (Dave Fratello, Americans for Medical Rights.)
(Las Vegas Review-Journal 2/20/2000)

"'At least anecdotally smoking marijuana seems to help a good number of my patients,’ said Dr. Jerry Cade, co-founder of the AIDS unit at the University Medical Center.  ‘With the HIV disease, that’s the enemy to us, weight loss.’”
(Las Vegas Sun 8/14/00)

What Opponents Say
The Nevada State Medical Association prefers “to support clinical research to determine whether marijuana does have health benefits.  The association doesn’t believe that science should be legislated. . . .
'Right now there is evidence that marijuana can be used for some things but in each case there is a better alternative available.’” Larry Matheis, executive director of the medical association.
(Las Vegas Sun 8/14/00)

“A main issue is the fact that it can never be implemented because federal law will prevent the sale of marijuana in any event.” Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
(Las Vegas Sun 8/14/00)

George Soros
Peter Lewis
John Sperling
$232,733 through 
Americans for Medical Rights.
(Las Vegas Sun 10/14/98)


Passed November 7, 2000.
For--380,258 (65.4%). Against--200,466 (34.5%). 100% precincts reporting.


Compared to other states, Nevada ranks:
  3rd in past-month illicit drug use
13th (tied with 1 other state) in marijuana use
  1st in drug use other than marijuana
  1st (tied with 1 other state) in past-year drug dependence
  5th (tied with 5 other states) in drug or alcohol dependence
(1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)

Details, Use
Details, Dependence


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