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Nevada Medical Marijuana

Ballot Question 9 -- Approved Nov. 7, 2000 by 65% of voters
Effective: Oct. 1, 2001

Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have “written documentation” from their physician that marijuana may alleviate his or her condition.

Approved Conditions: AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; and any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain. Other conditions are subject to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources.

Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, three mature plants, and four immature plants.

Registry: The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” if they are arrested on marijuana charges. Legislators added a preamble to the legislation stating, “[T]he state of Nevada as a sovereign state has the duty to carry out the will of the people of this state and regulate the health, medical practices and well-being of those people in a manner that respects their personal decisions concerning the relief of suffering through the medical use of marijuana.” A separate provision requires the Nevada School of Medicine to “aggressively” seek federal permission to establish a state-run medical marijuana distribution program.

Amended: Assembly Bill 453
Effective: Oct. 1, 2001

Created a state registry for patients prescribed the drug by a licensed physician and the Department of Motor Vehicles would issue identification cards. No state money will be used for the program, which will be funded entirely by donations.

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