The “Silver State” Legislature, (on the cutting edge of social change as usual), is considering several bills designed to overhaul the medical marijuana issue, ranging from some relaxation on the amount allowed in possession of patients, to providing for some licensed distribution system similar to the system currently being used in California, next door. The current law is absurd on its face, and needs total overhaul, but it is unlikely that such major changes will come out of our foreshortened session. What is probably going to happen, however, is the licensing of “dispensaries” by local county and city governments, with fees and taxes to be set and retained by the county commissioners. With the budget shortfall and cuts being prepared for most state programs, the need to give rural counties in particular a new revenue stream to compensate for reduced hand downs from Carson City.
The details of who grows and markets the medicinal herb and the ambience of the sales points will prove interesting as will the increased numbers of suffering citizens once the empty storefront across from the Yerington Courthouse becomes a hangout for the stricken and overstressed.
But seriously folks, the overall legalization of pot and the marketing thereof is likely to be a major economic trend in the coming decade. Our grandchildren will look back on the ban on this innocent herb as a silly mistake similar to Prohibition in the early years of the last century. But that is then, this is now, and Nevada might consider following its historic precedent in allowing forbidden pleasures as an incentive to our tourism economic base. For half a century we made a nice handle off quickie marriages and divorces, with divorcees filling the motels and “ranches” for their residency time, and justices of the peace living high on the hog of marital marketing.
The same can be said of whoring. The legal brothels of our rural counties, now nationally famous through the magic of reality television and unabashed promotional skills of Dennis Hoff, the king of the Moundhouse red light neighborhood, are certainly a cash cow for Lyon County. Nevada at large and locally, has benefited from the oldest profession, why not recreational drugs?
It might even prove workable to license the brothels as dispensaries for pot. The employees are already thoroughly screened for good character and clean records, and a smoking lounge adjacent to the saloon might just stimulate both businesses. It certainly worked that way 50 years ago.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. He can be reached at email@example.com.