Nevada Assembly Passes Resolution Urging Congress To Federally Legalize Marijuana
The Nevada Assembly has approved a resolution urging Congress to legalize marijuana, sending it to the state Senate.
The legislation from Assemblyman Reuben D’Silva (D) cleared the chamber in a 37-5 vote on Monday.
It states that cannabis has “many well documented medical uses,” yet remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), “alongside heroin.”
The resolution goes on to note that Nevada voters have approved ballot initiatives to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, and a state district court ruled last year that the state Board of Pharmacy’s designation of cannabis as a Schedule I substance is unconstitutional.
Further, because of the federal classification of marijuana, patients are “unable to receive medical insurance prescription health coverage” for cannabis, and they’re also not covered under health savings accounts.
It goes on to discuss the financial barriers that marijuana businesses face under federal prohibition, namely the lack of access to banking services that forces many licensed businesses to operate on a cash-only basis that makes them targets of crime.
Also, a shoutout to Assembly and Senate Republicans including @Danielle4nv1, @hammond4nevada, @PKONeillNV, and others who came on as co-sponsors here and demonstrated this isn't a partisan issue, but the will of Nevada voters as embodied within our own constitution. https://t.co/zyOx5T5f7m
— Athar Haseebullah, Esq. (@atharesq) April 24, 2023
“Marijuana does not belong in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a classification intended for exceptionally dangerous substances with high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use,” the resolution says.
Therefore, “the members of the 82nd Session of the Nevada Legislature hereby urge Congress to support legislation to remove cannabis from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.”
If enacted, the measure would require the Assembly’s chief clerk to “prepare and transmit a copy of this resolution to the Vice President of the United States as the presiding officer of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and each member of the Nevada Congressional Delegation.”
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The Delaware Senate also approved a resolution last month that implores the federal government to end marijuana prohibition. That vote happened weeks before the legislature approved a pair of cannabis legalization and sales bill that the governor is allowing to become law without his signature.
A congressional resolution filed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in 2021 similarly called on federal policymakers to legalize cannabis and expunge all prior non-violent marijuana convictions.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) said last week that he will be reintroducing his comprehensive cannabis legalization legislation, though the prospects of passage are doubtful this session given that Republicans now hold the majority in the House.
In Nevada, lawmakers have taken up a number of drug policy bills so far this session, including a proposal to increase the state’s cannabis possession limit and remove barriers to employment in the marijuana industry.
Earlier this month, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a revised bill that would create a new working group to study psychedelics and develop a plan to allow regulated access for therapeutic purposes.
Meanwhile, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is also considering amending their rules to formally protect athletes from being penalized over using or possessing marijuana in compliance with state law. A public meeting on the proposed reform was held on Monday.
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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.