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No Pot Card? No Problem -- Loophole Makes Buying Pot Easy In NV

Associated Press

In seven months, Nevada will vote up or down on legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

But if you’re from another state that has already legalized pot you can buy pot from one of the dozens of new medical marijuana stores here.

And you don’t necessarily need a medical marijuana card.

Senator Patricia Farley, a Las Vegas Republican who supports legalization of recreational marijuana, said the law currently works this way: If you have a driver’s license; sign an affidavit saying you are a medical marijuana card holder; and you get a "functional equivalent" to a medical pot card, you can buy pot legally.

The loopholes are that no one is able to verify the affidavits right now and a "functional equivalent" can mean just about anything from a fake letter from a friend to a note signed by a real doctor.

“The problem with the ‘functional equivalent,’ and not national data bases or states talking to each other, is you can’t prove factious documentation,” Farley said. "We have no way of doing that."

Now, people being the enterprising creatures that they are have started businesses based around the loophole.

“You’re now seeing in the state of Nevada lots of businesses forming to help tourists when they get here get a functional equivalent to a medical marijuana cards,” Farley said.

Farley said when the marijuana industry begins to gain a stronger footing, tracking of cards and verification of affidavits will come along. But that could be years away.

“But because we don’t have a true regulatory system around this industry yet, you have to piece everything together as best you can until it matures enough and then we can fix these regulations,” Farley said.

State Senator Farley believes if the loophole isn't resolved it could become a much bigger issue. She said legalized and regulated recreational marijuana will help stop the gray and black markets that are thriving. 


Patricia Farley, Nevada Senator, R-Las Vegas

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.