Petition drive launches to legalize all marijuana use - 8 News NOW

Petition drive launches to legalize all marijuana use

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LAS VEGAS -- A coalition aimed at legalizing all marijuana use in Nevada launched a petition drive Tuesday in hopes of collecting more than 100,000 signatures. 

State Senator Tick Segerblom and Joe Brezny, the former Republican Senate Caucus executive director, kicked off the drive by being the first to sign the petition. Their goal is to get enough signatures that support ending marijuana prohibition in Nevada. Both men are part of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Advocates say they're confident public perception has changed enough to get marijuana legalized.

"These people aren't potheads. These people are trying to heal themselves," said Adam Sternberg with Compassion Nevada.

He helps people get access to medical marijuana. While legalizing recreational pot has failed in Nevada twice before, he feels people are now ready to accept it.

"The general public is starting to get educated and made aware," he said.

"It's out there right now, people are smoking it, they're buying it," Segerblom said.

He says the state could pull in $100 million a year in tax revenue.

"I tell people, we're going to be the Amsterdam of the West. People are going to want to come here, get their picture taken at the marijuana dispensaries, they're going to want to buy a joint and they're going to want to buy a T-shirt," Segerblom said.

"There's no boogeyman here. This is something we can regulate just like alcohol and it will be just fine,"
Brezny said.

While some advocates feel legalization is in the near future, they're prepared for bumps in the road.

"If we do get enough signatures, which I fully intend, it's going to open up a big can of worms," Sternberg said.

They anticipate several months or even years of debates on who can own marijuana facilities and where they can operate. There have been two attempts in the past to legalize recreational marijuana, but both failed.

Segerblom says the tax money raised would go to help fund schools. All signatures need to be in by Nov. 11, 2014.

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