weather icon Clear

Nevada voters say yes to legalizing marijuana

Nevadans gave the green light to recreational marijuana Tuesday by passing Question 2 on the state’s ballot.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Question 2 was approved 602,400 (54.4 percent) to 503,615 (45.5 percent).

Starting Jan. 1, it will be legal for adults 21 and older in Nevada to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or up to one-eighth of an ounce of cannabis concentrate.

Nevada joined California and Massachusetts as states that passed recreational marijuana measures on Election Day, four years after Colorado and Washington became the first states in the U.S. to legalize the drug. A marijuana measures in Maine was too close to call. As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, the “Yes” vote lead by 1 point with 89 percent of precincts reporting., according to the Associated Press. In Arizona, it appeared the legalization effort was failing, according to multiple websites.

But in Nevada, the decision was praised.

“It’s great news,” said Joe Brezny, spokesman for the political action committee Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which sponsored the measure. “The majority of Nevadans agreed that it’s time to end marijuana prohibition.”

Under the measure, the state’s Department of Taxation will have until Jan. 1, 2018, to adopt regulations implementing the law. Those regulations will address such things as licensing procedures and qualifications, requirements for security measures, product testing, packaging, record-keeping and tax collections.

“We’re not done. Now the work begins,” Brezny said. “We’ve got to work out the toughest regulations in the country and implement them in a socially responsible manner.”

Jimmy Stracner, spokesman for the opposing PAC Protecting Nevada’s Children, said he hopes the legislature focuses on keeping children in the state safe.

“Protecting Nevada’s Children would like to thank all of its supporters for a hard-fought campaign. Even though the voters have spoken and recreational marijuana will now become legal in our state, we hope the 2017 Nevada Legislature will pass regulations that will protect our children.”

A Review-Journal poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International between Oct. 20 and 23 showed the “Yes” vote leading 47 percent to 43 percent.

Protecting Nevada’s Children raised about $3.4 million, $3.3 million of which came from Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol raised about $2.9 million this past year, making it a competitive advertising race down the stretch. Most of that money came from marijuana industry executives and other individuals with financial stakes in the industry.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - VIDEO
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - VIDEO
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
US held nearly 70K migrant children in custody in 2019

The nearly 70,000 migrant children who were held in government custody this year — up 42 percent in fiscal year 2019 from 2018 — spent more time in shelters and away from their families than in prior years.

Justices allow Sandy Hook shooting lawsuit about rifle go forward

The Supreme Court said Tuesday a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.

‘Dreamers’ get their day in court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case that could end a program that allows people brought to the United States illegally as children to obtain temporary protected status. A decision is expected by June.