CARSON CITY — Petitions seeking to expand background check requirements for gun purchases and to allow the recreational use of marijuana are sufficient and will be submitted to the 2015 Legislature, Secretary of State Ross Miller said Monday.
If lawmakers do not enact the initiative petitions, the measures will go to the voters in 2016.
A review of the signatures of registered voters for the background check initiative showed more than 40,000 signatures in each of the four Congressional districts. Just over 25,000 valid signatures were needed in each district. Signatures totaled 166,779.
The recreational marijuana petition had between 33,000 and 38,000 signatures in each district with total signatures of 138,453.
Each measure needed a total of 101,667 signatures from registered Nevada voters to qualify.
The measure from Nevadans for Background Checks would extend background checks for all gun buyers, including people who purchase firearms over the Internet and at gun shows. There are some limited exceptions.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is pushing the measure to legalize one ounce or less of marijuana for recreational use for people who are at least 21 years old. It would prohibit giving or selling marijuana to minors, driving under the influence of marijuana and using marijuana in public. The Nevada Department of Taxation would issue licenses for the legal pot trade.
The Legislature has 40 days to act on the measures. If lawmakers pass them and the governor signs them, the measures become law. If the Legislature does nothing or if the governor doesn’t sign them, the initiatives will go on the ballot.
If lawmakers amend the measures, both the original version and the amended measures would go on the ballot. If both pass with more than 50 percent of the vote, the one with the larger number of “yes” votes becomes law.
Contact Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801.