200K signatures filed in Nevada for rec legalization

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Cannabis activists in Nevada on Wednesday filed almost twice the required number of signatures with the state for a petition to legalize recreational marijuana.

Organizers hope to force either a legislative vote on legalizing recreational marijuana or get the issue on the 2016 ballot.

The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in roughly 200,000 signatures for the measure to legalize rec possession and sales, said state Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, a co-chair of the campaign. Organizers only need about 102,000 signatures verified by county clerks to force the state Legislature to either pass the measure or place it on the ballot in two years, Segerblom told Marijuana Business Daily.

The proposal would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as establish a regulatory structure for recreational sales, according to a report from the Reno Gazette-Journal. It would also “impose a 15 percent tax on wholesale pot sales, while retail transactions would be taxed at existing sales tax rates.”

Segerblom said he thinks the Republican-controlled Legislature will simply abstain from voting on the measure. But, he added, “They’d be smart to (pass it), because it’d bring out a wave of Democrats” for the 2016 vote if they don’t. If the Legislature decides not to touch the issue, it will automatically be placed on the ballot.

Nevada is on the cusp of starting its MMJ market, and last week issued 371 preliminary business licenses. So if the state approves recreational sales, it will already have a regulatory base to build on.