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Lawmakers weigh bill to create medical marijuana pilot program

Updated Sunday, June 5, 2011 | 12:06 a.m.

Medical marijuana bill

KSNV coverage of proposed legislation for a pilot program to let medical marijuana card-holders legally purchase the drug, June 4, 2011.

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY – A bill that would start a pilot program to allow medical marijuana card-holders to legally purchase the drug is being pushed in the Legislature.

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said the bill “would eliminate the head shops” that are illegally selling marijuana. Those with a valid registry identification card to use marijuana for medical purposes face felony charges when purchasing it on the street, he said.

Senate Bill 336 would set up a company or facility to grow, warehouse and distribute marijuana under the direction of the state Board of Pharmacy.

Rebecca Gasca, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the state has neglected its responsibility since the medical marijuana program was approved in the Nevada Constitution 10 years ago.

This bill, she said, “could help the patient to have better access to medication.”

Schneider told the Senate Finance Committee there are safeguards in the program. Doctors, he said, would have to take instruction on the medical benefits of marijuana.

He said he has worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in putting the bill together. Under the bill, the state Agriculture Department would oversee the process of growing the marijuana.

The pilot program would also mean extra tax money for the state when the drug is sold legally. The committee didn't take action on the bill.

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