Lawmakers in Nevada are introducing legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state, making Nevada the sixth state to push for legalization.
- REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Assemblyman Joe Hogan (D-Las Vegas) is leading the charge to legalize marijuana in his state not solely for the plants stated medicinal purposes, but in order to better use police resources to prevent crime and bring wanted criminals to justice.
Hogan insisted that the government has "wasted a tremendous amount of money spoiling teenagers' lives, chasing them around until we can arrest them for something."
Hogan did reveal that he has tried marijuana before, but denied using the drug anytime recently.
"Maybe 45 years ago someone gifted me a few puffs, but I have not been a user at all," Hogan told local media.
Lawmakers are slowly realizing the possible financial gains that cash-strapped states could benefit from. States could regulate the plant and could see tax revenue from the emerging marijuana industry to help state's balance sheets.
But not all residents are welcoming the legalizing efforts by some state's lawmakers, even though over 53 percent of voters approved Referendum 64 in Colorado, which legalized casual use of the drug. It also passed in Washington state by a similar margin.
However, Oregon voters voted against legalizing the recreational use of the drug, while voters in Arkansas voted not to allow marijuana use even for medical purposes. Massachusetts voters also did approve its use for medical or medicinal purposes.
Now voters in these Colorado and Washington can smoke marijuana, commonly known as pot, without fear of felony conviction. However, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a cautious warning to state residents.
"That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or the Goldfish too quickly," he said.
Laws made in Washington supersede those made in a state capitol or, in this case, by the voters themselves. Along these same lines, laws made at the state level cannot override laws and ordinances on the city and county level.