Las Vegas Sun

July 18, 2019

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Marijuana advocates want changes to Nevada employment, DUI laws

Cannabition

John Locher / Assocaited Press

In this Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 photo, people walk by the Cannabition cannabis museum in Las Vegas.

Marijuana advocates want to see Nevada laws changed to prevent employers from firing workers for smoking pot and to raise the amount of THC — the active ingredient in the plant — people can have in their systems to legally drive.

Proponents gathered last week at the new Cannabation Museum in downtown Las Vegas to discuss the intersection of pot and politics and to promote a website that allows voters to see where candidates stand on marijuana-related issues.

“You can’t have something the state relies on for tax money and then turn around and fire somebody for using it,” state Sen. Tick Segerblom said. “We can’t make marijuana users criminals if they’re not doing anything wrong.”

Segerblom was joined at the event Friday by Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Erik Altieri, the organization’s executive director.

Speaking to lawmakers and marijuana industry leaders, they highlighted a new NORML website that evaluates local, state and federal political candidates on weed issues based on their voting records and responses to a NORML-issued survey. The site is at vote.norml.org.

“It doesn’t just cover incumbents in Congress, major parties and third parties,” Altieri said. “It covers everyone down the line. Anyone who accesses the site can be informed enough to vote.”

One pressing issue, advocates said, is the law regarding marijuana use and driving under the influence. In Nevada, a person can be charged with DUI if the amount of THC in their system is two nanograms per milliliter or more.

That levels is far lower than some other states where marijuana is legal. In Colorado and Washington the limit is five nanograms per milliliter.

In California and Oregon, there is no set legal limit because of sparse research on the plant, which remains illegal at the federal level. Instead, police officers use their discretion and field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is impaired.

In Nevada, the lower THC limit can result in cases where a driver tests above the standard but is likely not impaired, Metro Police Officer Larry Hadfield said earlier this year.

Stroup said most people have an opinion on legal marijuana issues, which have prompted more people to get involved in politics and vote. “We’re coming out of the shadows and out of the closet,” he said of the marijuana industry.