A group of 13 prominent Nevada officials this week announced their endorsement of Question 2, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Reports Elko Daily Free Press…

Question 2, which will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, will make the possession and use of marijuana legal for individuals 21 years of age and older and will establish a system of regulations for the production and distribution of marijuana.

The group of endorsers includes 10 current members of the NevadaLegislature, along with one former member of the Legislature, a member of the Clark County Commission, and a member of the North Las Vegas City Council. The following is the full list of endorsers:

State Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford

State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson

State Sen. David Parks

State Sen. Tick Segerblom

State Sen. Patricia Spearman

State Assemblyman Nelson Araujo

State Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton

State Assemblyman Edgar Flores

State Assemblywoman Heidi Swank

State Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani

Pause

Former State Assemblyman Jason Frierson

Joe Brezny, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, celebrated the announcement.

“This is an exciting day for our campaign,” Brezny said. “With so many current and former elected officials coming out in support of Question 2, we are confident the people of Nevada will take the opportunity to regulate marijuana like alcohol this November. The truth is that marijuana should never have been illegal in the first place. As a substance, marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol. It simply makes no sense to punish adults who choose to use the safer substance.”

Some of the endorsing officials provided their own statements to accompany their endorsements.:

State Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford

“Question 2 gives Nevada an opportunity to break free of years of failed public policy when it comes to marijuana prohibition. I believe that a legal, regulated recreational marijuana market will help eliminate a significant portion of the criminal drug trade while providing significant new tax revenue to our state. It will also allow us to reform our approach to drug use within the criminal justice system and finally begin to focus on treating drug addiction like the disease that it is. I will be voting yes on Question 2 and I urge other Nevadans to do so as well.”

State Assemblyman Nelson Araujo

“I believe that our tax dollars ought to be spent on improving our schools – not building new jail cells. Legalizing marijuana will not only help improve Nevada’s justice system, but add a new tax revenue source to our state that will increase teacher pay, reduce class sizes, and build new schools. By ending the prohibition on marijuana, we can also help end the cycle of non-violent young offenders going to jail instead of college. By creating smart regulations, we can strengthen the relationship between our communities and law enforcement. I plan to vote Yes on Question 2 because I believe it is a critical step in reforming our criminal justice system to focus on violent offenders and career criminals instead of on non-violent users who need rehabilitation and treatment.”

State Sen. Tick Segerblom

“I am proud to be among this group of state leaders who have come together to call for an end to marijuana prohibition in Nevada. This strong display of support is further evidence that change in our marijuana laws is inevitable. But there is no need to wait. We should change our laws now so law enforcement can focus on serious crimes. We should change our laws now so consumers can have access to products that are tested and labeled. And we should change our laws now so we can all benefit from the elimination of the underground marijuana market.”

State Sen. Patricia Spearman

“No matter how you look at the issue of marijuana, it is clear that we will be better off regulating it like alcohol, rather than having it sold in the underground market. There will be tax revenue from sales, tax revenue from businesses, and tax revenue from employees. None of that is generated when marijuana is sold illegally. Best of all, we can use this revenue to address critical public funding needs in the state.”

http://elkodaily.com/news/opinion/commentary/lawmakers-public-officials-endorse-nevada-marijuana-initiative/article_12981141-6cfb-5a6b-a9ed-60af0151a247.html