A Las Vegas councilman said on KNPR's State of Nevada Tuesday that the Nevada Legislature will be forced to consider a resolution to legalize marijuana in the state.
State Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, confirmed that that 105,000 signatures have been collected on a petition to legalize marijuana. Those signatures had to be collected by mid-November in order to be admitted to the Legislature when it begins its 2015 session in January.
If the Legislature fails to approve the measure, Segerblom said, it automatically goes on the ballot as a question for voters to decide in 2016.
Collecting the signatures, the senator also said, was a $500,000 effort organized by The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
The resolution would let those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It would also tax wholesale pot sales at 15 percent. Retail tax rates would remain the same as other sales, and revenues would be dedicated to education. Voters rejected two previous attempts to legalize marijuana in 2002 and 2006.
Councilman Bob Coffin is also worried that the city's vote next week to approve or disapprove medical marijuana businesses is too fast. He wants to wait a week for the state to make its decision on those businesses
Coffin argues waiting would diminish the potential for the city to be sued later on.
But not everyone agrees. Councilman Bob Beers is fine with voting up or down next week to the new businesses.
A bigger threat, Beers thinks, is that city-based medical pot businesses will be at a competitive disadvantage – not versus illegal sales, but versus the county.
Bob Coffin, Las Vegas City Council
Bob Beers, Las Vegas City Council