A group that wants to legalize recreational marijuana says Nevada could see jobs, tax benefits and tourists if a ballot measure passes this November. But not everyone believes it's good business. Opponents for Question 2 say we would see a downside in the economy.
Kevin Sabet with the organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana said, "Workplace accidents are increasing in Colorado and Washington. More people are testing positive in legalized states for marijuana and it's a big conundrum for the employers. Now small businesses will have to deal with increased lawsuits, increased absenteeism."
Sabet says marijuana legalized in states like Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington is causing issues with employees being able to perform their jobs. Citing data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he says the short-term effects of marijuana include impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, memory problems, and an altered sense of time.
Supporters of medical marijuana claim the industry has brought job growth to Nevada and they believe even more employment will come if recreational marijuana is legal in the state.
At a press conference on Thursday at The Dispensary on 100 West Plumb Lane in Reno, Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung said recreational marijuana would bring a greater number of jobs. She claims the current industry is helping not just patients, but workers in the field.
"Many local Nevadans have been hired in the Reno area to support this industry," said Jung.
Currently there are 7 medical marijuana dispensaries fully operating in Washoe County.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says Nevada could benefit from recreation use in the future.
"It will bring more opportunities for more jobs an more economic development in Nevada, because we get 6,200 jobs out of this, where Tesla gives us 6,500 jobs. And we didn't need a tax break, we didn't need an incentive," said Will Adler, with the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
In November, Nevada voters will decide if they want recreational marijuana legalized in the state.