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Northern Nevada NAACP leader asking legislators to legalize recreational pot

The head of a northern Nevada civil rights group says the incoming state Legislature should legalize marijuana for recreational use instead of leaving the question up to voters in November 2016.

In September, Jeffrey Blanck, president of the Reno/Sparks chapter of the NAACP, sent a letter to legislators that highlighted an ACLU study finding blacks are more likely than whites to face arrest and prosecution for marijuana possession.

"And the when you look at the whole issue now with states legalizing it, we try to end the disparity in arrests, and one way to end the disparity in arrests for marijuana possession is legalize it."

Blanck says the Legislature should support a petition submitted by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

It calls for licensing and regulating marijuana sellers, growers and distributors - with a 15 percent wholesale tax on sales to raise revenue dedicated to schools.

Despite Jeffrey Blanck's push to legalize recreational marijuana, not everyone in Nevada agrees. The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that Washoe County's outgoing District Attorney Dick Gammick opposes legal marijuana in any form. He says other states that allow recreational pot, like Colorado, are now dealing with a host of issues, including robberies and child overdoses.


Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.