A ruling that Nevada’s medical marijuana law is unconstitutional has put the issue before the state Supreme Court and has lawmakers again pushing to clarify how patients can legally obtain the drug.
After several medical marijuana dispensaries set up shop around Las Vegas in recent years, a task force from the Metro Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office began working with federal authorities on a series of high-profile raids.
The busts began about two years ago to snuff out the pharmacy-like outlets and grow operations sprouting around the valley.
But contradictory rulings by two Clark County District Court judges have sent some of the pending criminal cases to the Nevada Supreme Court, which is expected to start sorting out the matter this summer.
Will it end there? Several people tracking the issue — including a Las Vegas state lawmaker — say no.
They predict the 2013 Nevada Legislature, not the Supreme Court, will be the real battleground for spelling out what voters intended when they approved the use of medical marijuana in 2000 with a 64 percent majority, opening a Pandora’s box for interpreting what is allowed under the law.
“The people in Nevada have voted to legalize the use,” said Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas. “Let’s see if we can set up a system to provide it just the way we can get any other type of legal prescription drugs. The way we’re doing it now just doesn’t make sense.”
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