Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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WHERE I STAND:

Preserving my marriage

Young people ask from time to time about my secret for maintaining a long and loving relationship with my wife, Myra. I suppose it’s the way of the world that the younger generations seek wisdom from their predecessors, hoping they can avoid any costly mistakes — especially in a community-property state like Nevada.

I’m tempted to answer that I haven’t a clue what I’ve done right for all these decades or, more to the point, why Myra has put up with me. Instead, I usually answer with one word: communication.

As in, when I have something for which I need her input, I communicate. When I believe the less said the better, communication is minimized. That is my secret to a happy marriage.

I am certain the love of my life will communicate to me a different point of view.

On my latest venture, however, I considered all of the alternatives and opted for full disclosure. The reason should be obvious, given the subject matter.

I have decided to pursue a license to conduct a medical marijuana business in Southern Nevada. Trust me, this is the kind of thing you should discuss with your spouse before making any big decisions. You should also discuss it with your children, if you have any, and even your close friends. That is what I did.

As any one of my generational peers could attest, getting into the medical marijuana business at my advancing age is an eyebrow-raising event. Most people in my generation have spent our whole lives the victims of “Reefer Madness,” so it’s almost unthinkable to risk all of that after a lifetime of good works, good reputation and good credibility.

Yet, here I am. And here is where many people in Clark County will be come April 22, the deadline for applying to Clark County for a limited number of licenses, which voters endorsed many years ago.

Why am I doing this? The answer is simple even though getting to it was very difficult.

There is a clear generational difference in attitudes toward medicinal uses of marijuana. Most people over 40 consider marijuana use a crime. That was drummed into us as we grew up. On the other hand, most people under 40 are perplexed that their parents would raise an eyebrow about using the plant for its medicinal benefits.

Here’s my feeling: If Nevada voters have expressed overwhelming support for the use of medicinal marijuana, it should be provided by the people who are committed to this state and this community, the people with the most to lose, and the people who can make it happen.

There are lessons to be learned from other states in this business and pitfalls to be avoided. We know that all eyes will be on Southern Nevada as Las Vegas implements what the voters have demanded. So we better make darn sure nothing goes wrong.

For certain, there is the potential of a significant new industry that will grow from this decision. Success could be sweet but it could also be years away, if ever. Significant investments will have to be made in order to be successful. It could also mean that Nevada, our university and our city will lead the country in the scientific exploration and research of what could be an entirely new class of drugs for future generations. There is some promise already for applications for diseases that could come without the dangerous side effects of current prescription medicines. That science and research lie ahead. Why shouldn’t it happen here?

That is why I am applying to get into this brand new industry. Picture the day after Prohibition ended and the folks who decided to get into the liquor business. As much as many of us may like a drink now and then, no one has ever been under the illusion that alcohol could treat seizures and other serious human ailments. As younger voters get older, this conversation will be a thing of the past as more states enter the medicinal marijuana field and more patients get the help they don’t seem to get today.

So, what does this have to do with preserving my marriage? Other than getting Myra’s whole-hearted buy-in, not that much. But applications have to be in this week, and I won’t be here to communicate to our readers and the community at large why I have applied for this license.

I will be gone for a few days because I have decided to boost my chances for a long and happy marriage by taking my bride on a second honeymoon.

I hope it works!

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