Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana

. Nevada’s Constitutional Direct Democracy:

In addition to voting to choose public officials through elections, the Nevada state constitution allows its citizens to participate in all 3 processes of direct democracy in which Nevadans can participate in a democratic process, they are; initiative, referendum and recall. (Approximately only 24 states have both initiative and referendum process; 3 states have only the initiative process; 3 states have only the referendum process; and 18 states permit recall of state officials.)

[The initiative lets citizens themselves propose new laws for the voters’ approval. Several states allow constitutional amendments to be proposed by initiative; nearly half of the states allow the initiative to be used for proposing new statutory laws. A direct initiative goes directly on the ballot to be decided by popular vote. An indirect initiative goes first to the state legislature. If the legislature passes the initiative, the measure becomes law. If the legislature does not pass the initiative, the measure is placed on the ballot, and the voters decide the issue.

The referendum is similar to the initiative, except that the issue is proposed first by the legislature and then directed to the voters for their approval. The recall—a vote to dismiss an official—is directed at public officials whose conduct is deemed incompetent or grossly unethical. Voters may circulate a petition calling for the removal of such an official, and if the petition obtains a sufficient number of signatures, then a recall election is held.]

Some critics say that citizens are not sufficiently informed to make policy decisions and laws; they believe that statutory lawmaking and amending state constitutions should be the responsibility of lawmakers, state legislators.

1. Do you think that state lawmaking and amending state constitutions is best suited for state legislators versus citizens? Discuss why or why not?

5. The Nevada 2016 General Election ballot question number 2, “Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana,” was passed on November 8, 2016.

The measure legalizes possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. The initiative does not include provisions for regulation beyond taxation, such as licensing retailers. The initiative passed on election day, 54%–46%.

Source: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

5a. Do you agree with the passing of the initiative? Why?

5b. Do you disagree with the passing of the initiative? Why?

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