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Nevada to Proceed With July Cannabis Sales Despite White House Warning

February 24, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - January 10, 2016: Las Vegas strip from above during the night. Casinos and hotels can be seen along the traffic busy boulevard in the city that never sleeps.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada still plans to launch recreational marijuana sales in July despite warnings this week of a federal crackdown by the administration of President Donald Trump, state officials said Friday.

Marijuana possession and sales are illegal under federal law, but Nevada voters decided in November to allow people age 21 or older to use cannabis recreationally — becoming one of eight states to do so.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday that the United States Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal laws prohibiting recreational — not medical — marijuana. No immediate action accompanied the statement, which came in response to a reporter’s question.

“Any action by the Trump administration would be an insult to Nevada voters and would pick the pockets of Nevada's students.”
Aaron Ford, Nevada Senate Majority Leader

That has not prompted the Nevada agency tasked with crafting rules governing recreational marijuana sales to change its timeline for ensuring dispensaries can open this summer, said agency spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein.

“As of now, the Department of Taxation is moving forward with our regulation development as planned,” she said.

The Democratic leader of Nevada’s state Senate, Aaron Ford, criticized the White House for what he called an “overzealous attack on the will of Nevada voters.”


White House Plans ‘Greater Enforcement’ Against Legal Cannabis

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is currently budgeting tens of millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue over the next two years to fund public education.

“Any action by the Trump administration would be an insult to Nevada voters and would pick the pockets of Nevada’s students,” Ford said.

He also claimed increased enforcement of the nation’s drug laws would constitute “federal overreach” and asked Nevada’s Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt to make a statement similar to that of Washington state’s vow to fight any crackdown.


Washington State Officials Vow to Fight Any Federal Crackdown

Federal laws pre-empt state laws, but former President Barack Obama gave the states leeway to establish marijuana industries as long as they keep the drug from crossing state lines and away from children and drug cartels. It’s unclear exactly what Trump’s administration will do.

Laxalt is analyzing the issue, spokeswoman Monica Moazez said.

“Not every action taken by the federal government, much less every statement made by the president or his staff, constitutes federal overreach,” she said. “Our office will continue to monitor this situation and analyze it according to the law and the Constitution, not speculate or jump to conclusions.”

Nevada voters first voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1998 and gave final approval in 2000. After legal wrangling in the Legislature and local municipalities, the first prescription-only dispensaries opened in 2015.

Trump said during his campaign for the White House that he does not oppose medical marijuana, a sentiment Spicer repeated this week.

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  • don’t back down – never back down

  • Stevan N Sonia Momo

    i’m Trying to picture National Gard coming in for Pot ?? even sounds Stupid

  • johninnv

    Don’t give Nevada too much credit yet. AG Laxalt is a HUGE Trumpanzee and is getting ready to run for Lt Gov in 2018. He will be courting the nutjob vote, and the State went 47.9% for Hillary and 45.5% for Trump in 2016…..too damn close. The entire state is RED except for Clark County. In my opinion Laxalt (the guy who is “reviewing” it) will never go against the Trump admin wishes, and he has shown himself to have no regard for what the governor or anyone else wants. The governor, Brian Sandoval, is also a Republican and ran initially on a tea-party platform (remember 2010?) but has evolved into one of the few semi-reasonable ones left in the country (political necessity in purple state Nevada). The Dems hold the legislature by razor thin margins. Too close to call.

  • The despised, incompetent T.Rump administration does nothing to help Americans and now wants to overrule “States Rights” to try to oppress Nevadas. #NotMyPresident.


    Am I the only one who finds this very ironic…harassing the state famous WORLDWIDE for allowing all types of vice(what happens here, stays here) because it’s residents want to be able to enjoy cannabis.

    • oneilda

      Clash of the Titans. We’ve released the Kracken.

  • mark

    In Washington state, sales at licensed pot shops now average nearly $4.4 million per day — with little evidence of any negative societal effects. That’s close to $1 billion in sales so far for the fiscal year that began last July, some $184 million of which is state tax revenue. Not to mention the $$ saved as police do not need to bother with busting people for cannabis, courts are freed up, and jail space is also freed up.