Sheriff’s Message, Week of February 25th
Sixteen months ago, Nevada voters over-turned a long standing social policy. And while the debate continues since this country’s founding in defining government’s limits on social policy, we all can agree it must intercede with a basic level of public safety and commerce assistance. Nonetheless, we will never be able to put that genie back in the bottle whom we let out in November of 2016.
NRS 453D.400 was codified by the voters, and makes it illegal to grow recreational and limited medical marijuana within a 25 mile radius of a dispensary unless it is a state licensed cultivation facility. A first violation is a misdemeanor offense and carries a $600 fine; a second offense is $1,000; a third offense is a gross misdemeanor; and a fourth is a felony. Because of the way the law passed, it cannot be amended until November 22, 2019.
Carson City’s marijuana dispensary is open and the map’s green circle shows its 25 mile radius. Yerington’s dispensary is also in operation and the red line indicates its radius. The only places left in Lyon County where home marijuana can legally be grown is north of 6th Street in Silver Spring to Fernley, and the Sweetwater section of Hwy 339 near the California border. If the proposed Fernley dispensary becomes operational (yellow line), then home marijuana production will be illegal for all of populated Lyon County.
A disclaimer for the on-line legal experts; don’t read something into the law that isn’t there. The law simply states “Cultivates marijuana within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store.” It doesn’t imply road distances or county boundaries. We have for decades used a radius rule with selling narcotics around schools and are going to apply it in the same manner. However, we are not going on a crusade after everyone’s single marijuana plant. If we see marijuana growing in a home when we have a legal reason to be there, we will seize the plant and either issue a citation or make an arrest if appropriate.
This post is meant to educate the general public as marijuana laws rapidly change. Even the Lyon County Commissioners by a 3-2 vote approved ordinances this week allowing marijuana zoning, cultivation, processing, and retail sales.
Last week I spent time visiting with the Sheriff of Montezuma County Colorado. What was interesting is their citizen population is half the size of Lyon County and their daily prisoner population is almost the same size as ours. He attributed most of their crime problems to homelessness, black market sales, illegally exporting marijuana out of state, and home invasions since legalization of marijuana. I was informed that when the Yerington Dispensary opened, a black market marijuana dealer went into the store and threatened management that they weren’t going to put him out business.
We had a good meeting with the school and fire districts to discuss best practices aimed at modifying evacuations procedures in wake of the Florida school shooting. The LCSO is pushing for single point entry into all of our schools and their leadership is working towards that goal; however, like all things, it take money.
What bothers me most is seeing an estimated $60 million of marijuana money in a “rainy day” fund when it was supposed to go towards education. What is the life of a child worth today with all that money sitting in a fund for tomorrow? It needs to be released NOW to fund Nevada school’s security upgrades! Isn’t that what the voters said in 2016?
And finally, visiting the annual STEM event in Fernley’s High School is always a highlight in my year. Seeing their ingenuity and passion towards these four educational disciplines is always uplifting. It was also encouraging as Faith Baptist Academy from Silver Springs brought their students to observe local government. I even enjoyed getting “grilled” by two honorary commissioners during the LCSO’s Annual Report. We must invest in our children, because they are our future.
As always, keep the faith!