Medical Marijuana Advocate Criticizes Nevada Research Plan
Dan Hart, director of advocacy group Nevadans for Medical Rights, on Wednesday said that the state attorney general's office wants to "thwart the wishes of Nevada voters by blocking access to pot to qualified patients," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. In November, 65% of Nevada voters approved Question 9, a constitutional amendment that requires the state Legislature to initiate a registry program whereby "sick people with a physician's authorization can receive marijuana." Last month, however, the state's Medical Marijuana Initiative Committee, a group of doctors and pharmacists, proposed a plan that calls for a medical research study under the authority of the University of Nevada (Vogel, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/11). According to the committee, the research study would permit "limited marijuana distribution and avoid a confrontation with the federal government's antimarijuana laws that conflict with the state initiative" (Riley, Las Vegas Sun, 1/11). State Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa endorsed the plan, saying that legislators would only "invite trouble" if they created a distribution plan without federal approval. She recommended the state hold off on a distribution plan until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case involving the Oakland, Calif., Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. But in a letter sent to former Deputy Attorney General Louis Ling, who now serves as private legal adviser to state Board of Pharmacy Executive Secretary and committee co-founder Keith MacDonald, Hart objected to the plan, claiming that it would limit marijuana availability to a "chosen few, instead of all sufferers of AIDS, cancer and other illnesses" (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/11). Hart also vowed that "proponents of Question 9 will vigorously defend the will of the people in the Legislature, the executive branch and in every necessary court, including the court of public opinion (Riley, Las Vegas Sun, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.