ClearCast Episode 12: Pat Hickey Answers Your Tough Marijuana Questions

[Editor’s Note]

Welcome to today’s ClearCast!

The most discussed (Easily!) Ballot Question this year is Question 2, regarding ending the prohibition against the sale of marijuana in Nevada.

And do we have a special treat for you today! A nearly 40 minute conversation with the most prominent advocate of “No on 2,” current Nevada State Board of Education Member, Pat Hickey!

Following along on social media, the conversation surrounding Question 2, unfortunately, has been unable to move beyond 140-character insults. A few days ago, we sat down with a Nevada marijuana dispensary owner, Andrew Jolley, and he was kind enough to explain what marijuana is for those of us not who need a little more background before evaluating Question 2.

In that conversation, he advocated for passage for Question 2, so we wanted have a representative from the ‘No on 2’ Campaign come on the ClearCast so you could hear both sides.

I doubt you will find a more articulate presentation of the ‘No on 2’ materials!1)Just my personal opinion, but I thought Pat was great. I wish the “No on 2” campaign would stop trying to trick people, and adopt this course. You can make good arguments against marijuana legalization without being dishonest. Watch the video!

For many viewers out there2)I speak of the prominent ‘Yes on 2’ folks, Pat may not persuade you to vote No on 2, but regardless, listening to his concerns is certainly worth your while. If marijuana is soon to be legalized in Nevada, it needs to be regulated properly. Pat is raising a lot of valid points here.

In the conversation, you will hear that Pat names Nevada state senator Tick Segerblom three times (in a less-than-becoming manner) in reference to Nevada marijuana regulation.

Know that Monday morning, we are scheduled to sit down with Tick so he will have an opportunity to respond..

Thanks for watching!

-Brian

[End Note]

 

Transcript:

Jordan Flake: Hi, I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I’m really excited today to be joined by Pat Hickey, who is leading the coalition I would say against the regulation and legalization of marijuana Question 2 here in Nevada. As always, on ClearCast our goal is to hopefully provide an objective viewpoint of the different issues that we cover. We’re always very interested to where we may have been wrong, what we might have missed, what your opinions are. You can always leave comments on the videos, either on Facebook or on our web page.

Pat Hickey, I don’t know too much about your history. I appreciate you coming. I understand that you have been an assemblyman in the past and that you are kind of the state coordinator for the opposition against this Question 2. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be interested in Question 2.

Pat Hickey: I will, and thank you for doing this. It’s a great service to your clients, your potential clients, and the public at large, because ballot questions … Not everyone even knows that issues are going to be on the ballot, much less have an opportunity to avail themselves of this information.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Pat Hickey: I appreciate you doing this. Quickly, yes, I have served in the Nevada Legislature four different terms in two different decades, and in fact in two different centuries, because I came and went … Apparently lost my mind and returned and came to my senses and left again, so I have been a part of the Nevada Legislature. I now am serving on the State Board of Education, appointed by Governor Sandoval, which led me to concerns about recreational marijuana from two points.

One, this is a very serious and impactful public policy question, whether or not to legalize a recreational drug, and I would add commercialize one, because that is a big part of the move behind this, to create should Question 2 be passed by the voters aiding new dispensaries, or as have traditionally been called pot shops, throughout the Las Vegas area.

My two concerns, and we’ll get into it, are number one, for education in Nevada we have serious challenges anyway. The new Nevada that Governor Sandoval and many educators envision is one where the emphasis of career Pat Hickey’s for our students are to be things like advanced manufacturing, the law, a professional industry that’s not just reliant upon tourism and basically catering to the whims and the pleasures of people who may be visiting the Las Vegas Strip.

Secondarily, concerns about work force. I’m in the construction business, and workplace safety is a real consideration for those that are involved in either alcohol or substance abuse, including marijuana. In Colorado, and I’ve been to Colorado three times in the last six months, as a result of legalization … Resulted in real workforce challenges, especially manufacturing and the construction industry, and even the gaming industry, which obviously is important to us.

Jordan Flake: Really there’s just … Education is obviously a big concern for you and the effect that legalization could have on our ability to kind of implement this new Nevada, especially from an educational standpoint, and then just kind of a constructive workforce aspect of this is do we want to have marijuana be something that’s easily accessible to and potentially affect or ability to be productive in this state.

You’ve gone to Colorado a few times and done some research on this. Let’s just kind of take the classic case when somebody comes up to you and says, “Hey, Pat Hickey, I went online and I tried to find resources about the dangers of marijuana,” and I’ve heard people say there’s just no proof that it’s any worse than alcohol. In fact there’s some indication that it’s nowhere near as alcohol. Alcohol is I heard a hundred and fourteen times more toxic than marijuana and there’s never been an overdose in marijuana, whereas alcohol kills people.

Alcohol yet is something that we regulate and something that we allow and something that people can participate in recreationally and socially. Why can’t we just regulate marijuana the same way we regulate alcohol to an extent? How would you respond to that? I’m sure you’ve heard that countless times.

Pat Hickey: Right. Right. In some ways it’s true. Abusing or overusing alcohol can certainly be detrimental to a person and so can marijuana. While it’s technically true that there aren’t instances of people that sat down and smoked so much that it killed them, as can happen in the case of alcohol, but at the same time it’s a cumulative effect. I mean the same could be said about tobacco.

Jordan Flake: Sure.

Pat Hickey: I don’t know of anyone that has sat down and smoked for thirty-five hours straight and has died as a result of it.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Pat Hickey: The health impacts, the costs to society are the result of a lifetime of a habit that is not altogether healthy for you. We have a huge challenge in this country. We seem to be having a growing tendency towards dependency. In fact, there’s an epidemic of prescription drugs that society, and Nevada in particular, is facing right now. To the point about if you regulate something and you tax it, legalize it, then don’t you take care of the problem? I would argue that prescription drugs are both legal and regulated and yet we’re abusing them horrendously.

The new marijuana, while most people who smoke marijuana do not become addicted or become a great detriment to them, but the new marijuana is far more toxic. The THC levels, the  psychoactive elements of them are far stronger than the elements … The THC of the marijuana in the sixties and seventies, sometimes seven or eight times as strong. In the form of edibles, which are now being marketed and arguably are somewhat child-friendly by the big marijuana industry, which I would say is quite akin to the big tobacco industry, that a number of decades ago thought that by marketing Joe Camel they would appeal to a younger clientele and therefore create for themselves a customer base for life … I think the same thing is going on with the marijuana industry.

 

Pat Hickey, Question 2, Las vegas, marijuana

 

Jordan Flake: You raised a lot of additional questions that I have just in your response there. First by way of clarifying what you said, the alcohol corollary is one way to argue it, but the prescription drugs is another. People would disagree about that, whether it turns out to be regulation leads to dependency of use, as in the case of prescription drugs. Just kind of having you respond a little bit more on the alcohol front, would you favor the prohibition of alcohol if you were the end all, be all, and could just make it happen?

Pat Hickey: We tried that once in our history and there were socio and economic reasons for doing that. The reality is at this point in time … I think it’s somewhere in the category of seventy percent of Americans participate in one way or another in the consumption of alcohol. It’s somewhat like eight percent for marijuana, and alcohol has a long cultural history to it as well. On the surface, yes, it’s another substance that certain people choose to enjoy. I don’t have a problem with decriminalizing possession, and while a member in the Legislature I looked for people to co-sponsor that. The problem that I have with it is the over-commercialization of it that Question 2 is going to do.

For example, not putting in the language of the initiative petition anything to restrict advertising, anything to control the potency or the THC levels, or to even ban the marketing of edibles such as gummy-bears, pot tarts, soda pot and other ice creams and things that obviously have an appeal-

Jordan Flake: It’s the Joe Camel of marijuana.

Pat Hickey: It absolutely is.

Jordan Flake: To that point, you mentioned big marijuana. We know who big tobacco is. We can get on our websites and we can identify these companies that really are big tobacco. Who is big marijuana? Do we know who these people really are?

Pat Hickey: Yes, we do, but let’s talk about Nevada, and especially with the law firm you’re certainly aware of … And the “Panama papers” recently disclosed the fact that it’s quite easy to hide behind shadow corporations in the state of Nevada, given the way that we’ve marketed ourselves in the use of resident agents and other corporations for tax reasons and others. It’s quite easy to incorporate in Nevada.

Yes, we do know a number of the people behind them, and in fact they’re not Woodstock hippies. They’re corporate folks with trust funds and others that are investing into a market that they think will be profitable. An example can be a corporation just purchased from the Bob Marley family, the old Reggae singer from Jamaica, where marijuana is somewhat of a religious icon or a custom. They just purchased the naming rights from Bob Marley for a product, Marley Naturals, for fifty million dollars, so we’re talking about corporate interests who are behind this.

Specifically, this is on the ballot in Nevada due to the support of the Marijuana Policy Project, which is a Washington DC lobbying organization, somewhat of a guild for the industry itself, funneling its investment monies, and much of the original monies were from Colorado, California and others, where the industry already has a foothold. This is big business.

We love big business in Nevada. My argument is I would much rather see the Teslas, the Switches, the Faradays, socially responsibly investing in our future rather than trying to produce a new economy where what the jobs are pot shop cashiers.

Jordan Flake: Right. I get your point. That’s interesting. I admit that I don’t know who these big players are, who the big investors are, and it does give me a little bit of pause to think about what their motives and intentions are and just-

Pat Hickey: It’s green.

Jordan Flake: Right, yeah.

Pat Hickey: And not necessarily the stuff that is rolled into the joint if you’re still smoking it.

Jordan Flake: I have no doubt that’s the case. With respect to children, my understanding when I spoke with the owner of a dispensary the other day is that here in Nevada it would be illegal to have anything shaped like a bear, anything shaped like a … Something that would identify with kids.

Pat Hickey: That’s not accurate. That’s in response to the fact that in the initiative itself there are absolutely no restrictions to the way it can be packaged, produced or marketed.

Jordan Flake: There’s not a restriction on the ability for it to be something that would be easily opened by a child?

Pat Hickey: No, no, but now they hope to put that in through regulation. You’ll see proponents like Tick Segerblom and others say we’re going to go with the Legislature and fix all of these things that the concerns have been raised. My argument would be why don’t we do this at the Legislature to begin with and really have this discussion out in front of the public and with the public involved? In other words, a person should be at the table from the business interests involved with the government entities that are going to have to regulate this, with educators who are going to have to deal with its impacts, with Metro and law enforcement. We ought to all be at the table and have this discussion.

One of the arguments, and it was made by the Colorado Governor, when he’s advised Governor Sandoval and others to say wait a few years. See how it’s working in other states before you go headlong into it. We just legalized medical marijuana, and oh, by the way, there are still some real challenges there.

Jordan Flake: Skeptics would say that that Colorado Governor is potentially saying I want to keep the money and I want to keep people coming here for a few years and keep the party going in Colorado.

Pat Hickey: Fine. As far as I’m concerned, let him.

Jordan Flake: No, this is great. This is great information. One thing that … You said so many things that I could kind of pick up and very interesting, want to go with it. One thing I think is indispensable here is you said, Pat Hickey, that you actually wouldn’t have a problem … I don’t want to put words in your mouth, with private possession of marijuana. Maybe it sounds like you’re more concerned about the corporate kind of policy effects, and not so much of the individual’s choice and right to consume. Is this a-

Pat Hickey: Right. Even Adam Laxalt, conservative Attorney General, chief law enforcement official in Nevada, has said we are not interested in arresting people for what they do in their private life. In fact, we already have de facto decriminalization. It’s been by legislative regulation reduced down to a misdemeanor. Most people, if they’re arrested, are just going to get a ticket or sent to an education class or a drug enforcement court.

Police in the state are not interested in arresting people for it, and by and large federally less than one percent, 0.7 percent in fact are in federal prisons or state prisons for that matter for mere possession of marijuana. There are still a lot of monies and crime related to selling drugs. One of the arguments against it is the black market on drug dealership, it doesn’t go away.

The Attorney General of Colorado has said we have more cartel activity than ever as a result of it, because when you legalize it, then a person’s possession of it is no longer a factor whatsoever, so drug dealers, as we’ve seen in Las Vegas, they simply innovate and they find ways to still pretend to be legal delivery services in the instance of medical marijuana, and in fact they’re not, and they’re going to pop up all over should legalization take place.

The tourist that comes down on the Strip and visits from Ohio for a convention isn’t going to want to try to go over to Maryland Parkway and find the closest pot shop. They’re going to order off an internet service that they find that says it will deliver to their hotel room, and they’re probably going to pick the cheapest one, which will in most cases probably result in them being an illegal one, since they don’t have to comply with the regulations, they aren’t taxed, and so these … Drug dealing will continue as it has in Colorado. We’re not going to get rid of it by legalizing.

Jordan Flake: Interesting. I haven’t read up on it and I don’t know the extent to which … I’m at a loss to kind of respond with counterarguments that might be out there at this point. That being said, one thing that you mentioned earlier that I want to come back to was the threat of marijuana use on the workplace. I understand that the question actually continues to protect an employer’s right to drug test their employees. If every employer, including for example Clear Counsel Law Group, my law firm, we could do this, even if it gets legalized I could still say, “Hey, employees, we’re all getting tested because this is one of the conditions of working at this job.” Doesn’t that cover that-

Pat Hickey: As written, that’s correct. Question 2 does not take away that right of an employer to still have a zero tolerance drug policy in effect, drug test. Many industries in the state in fact are required to. Certainly the gaming industry does, our largest. Anyone involved in transportation, the construction industry, which I’m a part of. I mean workers comp, and you deal with things like that … Our liability insurance dictates that you better have a zero tolerance drug policy or you’re going to see the expenses for workers comp and insurance go through the roof.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Pat Hickey: While it does not remove that, what it does is create additional challenges for human resources departments and others, because then you’re going to get litigated persons that have a medical marijuana card and say I should be able to be using it on work since it was “prescribed” by a physician. So far in Colorado, the courts have held up the rights of employers to still make those decisions and dismiss employees who have broken their policies. On the other hand the Marijuana Policy Project … This will be good business for lawyers, by the way, have promised to litigate this right and left.

Tick Segerblom said he thinks Nevada employers if legalization takes place, and he’s on record for saying this, that they’ll probably have to loosen their drug enforcement laws because everybody will be smoking it. That’s okay, but as a parent and grandparent and member of the State School Board, I don’t want that relaxed for school bus drivers, for teachers, for airline pilots, or for people that climb my forty foot ladders in my painting business.

Jordan Flake:     So we’re not quite as concerned immediately that people are going to be showing up to work high? It’s the fact that this is going to create litigation, additional policies, additional need for regulation, and just basically a ton of HR headaches essentially, along with the likelihood that as a result of that litigation the door will possibly get wider open to permit a high school bus driver, for example?

Pat Hickey: Yeah.

Jordan Flake: These are some of the concerns that are out there?

Pat Hickey: One of the problems … Look, I fully understand as an employer the problems that alcohol can bring to bear on a family, on an employee. If someone falls off one of my ladders in my painting company, we’re going to rush them to the emergency room. They’re going to be treated, but one of the first things that’s going to happen is a drug test by the hospital. If it comes out that this person was inebriated or impaired on the job because of abuse of a substance, marijuana or another drug, it’s going to impact my workers comp rates, my insurance rates. I may even be taken to court for not enforcing a drug-free policy because it endangers my fellow employees, it endangers my customers, so it presents all kinds of problems, which translate into costs.

Let me tell you something specific about our industry, the gaming industry. In Colorado I visited with the head of their Resorts Association before I briefed members on the Strip of our Resorts Association, who took a very strong stand against this. There I was told that they’re having a particular problem in their casinos in Colorado, and they’re few and far between, nothing like Nevada, but especially in their entry level positions in food and beverage departments. They are finding more and more employees, because they do drug test and they have to because it’s against federal law, and in order to keep their gaming licenses, our Gaming Control Board has been adamant to gamers in Nevada, big and small, you cannot have anything to do with this industry whatsoever, the Gaming Control Board has.

You can’t take monies that come in from the cash business. You can’t be investors yourself. You’re going to have to report under sections of money laundering any people that you bring in that you suspect are coming from a marijuana dispensary, because maybe it smells like skunk. I say that affectionately of course.

Back to the point in Colorado, they are having entry level employee problems because there are people that are applying for jobs and they’re typically eighteen to twenty-nine year olds who are now frequently using more in Colorado, number one it’s popular, legal, permissible, abundant, and they’re failing pre-employment drug screens. When that happens, then where do they get jobs and does society have to take care of them in other ways?

Jordan Flake: I have some brothers who work for the federal government and I think it’s the same story on the federal level, that’s just not going to be permissible. That’s interesting. You kind of heard it here first from Pat Hickey, that if this passes and you don’t consume marijuana, then you’re almost assured to get an entry level job. Is that right? Because they’re going to have a hard time-

Pat Hickey: That’s a good point. We in the construction business … Let’s assume the Oakland Raiders become the Vegas Raiders and the stadium is built. One of the reasons for the support of lawmakers, which I used to be one, is predicated on the notion we’re going to have a lot more construction jobs. Great. The industry has been somewhat depressed since the Great Recession. Okay, but still those guys, union or non-union, are going to be drug testing because they’re going to have to. Already the construction industry has great challenges finding qualified employees. I can tell you that personally. This is one more barrier to that.

Another problem with marijuana impairment, we haven’t scientifically come up with a test to be fair about what is real impairment. People can actually test positive because it stays in your system, in your fatty areas, unlike alcohol which is in blood and then it sort of dissipates, so you can tie one on Friday night, come to work on Monday, maybe experience a random drug test and be fine. That may not be the case with marijuana. You may be determined to be impaired even when you’re actually not, and that’s certainly not fair either.

Jordan Flake: Right, and that’s interesting, because that issue of impairment, that’s another one we could spend a very long time on that, but I know that that’s part … As a voter, part of what makes all this very hard to read and understand is that both sides are obviously going to use the data that supports their position, and I don’t blame them. That’s the reality of politics that I’m sure you know a lot about.

Some of the data that says, for example, more accidents are as a result of marijuana abuse. I’m wondering if that’s relying on data about impairment that means that yes, there was marijuana, the person that caused the accident had marijuana in his system, but it was actually from two days ago and he was just a bad driver because he was checking his cell phone. You see what I’m saying? There’s data problems that-

Pat Hickey: Of course there are, and you’re right to the point that both sides can use things selectively for their own argument. I get that, okay? That’s why I appreciate an opportunity like this where we’re talking about not just the talking points that the other side would use. We’re going to have all kinds of money for schools. Let’s talk about that, or are the edibles or DUIs going to affect us.

We’re having a more nuanced conversation here, and that’s why … Part of my argument is what’s the rush folks? Even Colorado took twelve years to go from medical to recreational. We’re trying to do it in the span of one or two years, when we still have real challenges and questions about how to regulate appropriately and fairly the medical marijuana industry, which I do not oppose and I voted for the funding mechanism for it.

 

Pat Hickey, Las Vegas, Nevada, marijuana, question 2

 

One of the real challenges is this coming under the Department of Taxation as written in Question 2 in the initiative. There are huge challenges for them to become the new super agency to have to manage this. In fact, in Colorado their counterpart met with our head of Department of Taxation and said I’m here to tell you three things. This is going to be far more complicated than you think. Are you setting up the infrastructure, the ecosystem to manage this whole new business, because make no mistake, government is going to be now in the business of marijuana even in more significant ways than we are alcohol, I’d be happy to point that out.

He said it’s going to be far more complicated than you think and it’s going to take much more time, and maybe most importantly, or it should be most important to the taxpayers, it’s going to be far more costly than you think, and it’s all front-loaded, because we’re going to have to put all this money into infrastructure, in growing a department … And if you’re in business, you know the Department of Taxation has taken fourteen months to figure out the two-sided form for the new commerce tax, and it’s still a big fat mess.

Now we’re going to ask our glorious Department of Taxation, I have friends there, to become the new Food and Drug Administration, to deal with pesticides, with labeling, with potency, with background checks, with educational programs to present to schools to warn people-

Jordan Flake: What we have is some-

Pat Hickey: We’re ill-equipped for this to go rushing into.

Jordan Flake: We have some bureaucratic heavy lifting to do and a really steep growth trajectory, but don’t you think that … Isn’t it the case that the taxation of marijuana over the course of time, the taxes that they levy on the actual purchase and consumption, et cetera, et cetera, will be a great boon to the coffers of the State of Nevada?

Pat Hickey: The proponents would certainly like it to be a great boon.

Jordan Flake: Has it not been in Colorado?

Pat Hickey: For those … Not exactly. They’ve said that. The Governor and the drug czar and others have said those things. The Governor said, “If you think this is going to pave roads and hire new school teachers, you’ve got another think coming.” Most of it is going to go into creating the infrastructure implementing. Nevada law as it’s proposed, thirteen pages, is very different from Colorado’s. At least with Colorado’s Amendment 64 a certain percentage of monies went to education first.

In the Nevada initiative, we’re third on the list. Education sort of gets the crumbs. After taxation, local municipalities, counties and cities are repaid for their expenses, then the budget of the district schools … Let me say this specifically about it. Proponents will tell you in advertisements from their studies that when all is said and done and all those back-fills have been done to government, they project Nevada will get annually twenty million dollars a year pure for education. You say that’s good, I’m a proponent for education.

As a Republican, I voted for more taxes for schools, for education, which got a lot of people un-elected as Republicans standing with Brian Sandoval on that. I’m for more money for education spent appropriately, but take that twenty millions in the context. We spend, and I know this as a member of the Budget Committee and a chair of some of the sub-committees on funding … We spend a total of $5.9 billion annually in education from all sources, federal, state, local, property taxes. That twenty million that they’re projecting is less than one-third of one percent of our overall education budget, so to say it’s a mere drop in the bucket … Even Chris Giunchigliani on PBS television admitted there’s very little money that’s going to go to schools, but they’ve been advertising-

Jordan Flake: Right. That doesn’t stop people from saying, “Smoke marijuana, help our children.”

Pat Hickey: Yeah. Think about the logic of that. I love the editorial recently by … Our rural papers keep us somewhat sane in Nevada. The Elko Daily, which is not all that unsophisticated with their billion dollar companies, Barrick and Newmont Mining out there, recently editorialized against Question 2 and said selling marijuana in order to pay for schools is kind of like selling pornography to support daycare, something to think about.

Jordan Flake: Yeah. That’s a very visceral kind of … You have a very visceral reaction to that quote for sure.

Pat Hickey: Yeah. The other side of it is though … Your more serious question was isn’t over time this going to be a boon or a help to the expenses of society? Again, I would point to both alcohol and tobacco, to the proponent’s point if we regulate and tax it, isn’t that a good thing? The reality is for both alcohol and tobacco, for every dollar in revenue that is paid, and this is from national studies, ten dollars goes out other doors to pay for related health costs, for regulation, for lost employment time because of substance problems that people have, just the whole infrastructure. Tobacco, cigarettes, and I would argue marijuana, they’re money drainers on society. They’re not money makers.

Jordan Flake: That’s interesting. I think any proponents listening to this would kind of freak out at the idea that you’re equating tobacco-

Pat Hickey: They can just chill out. Just take some Segerblom haze and it’ll calm them.

Jordan Flake: Tobacco and marijuana, equating those I think would be a big problem in the minds of some of the proponents.

Pat Hickey: Okay. I’m happy to make that comparison. The industries are comparable.

Jordan Flake: I’m talking about from anatomy, biological standpoint.

Pat Hickey: Do you think it’s any safer to smoke marijuana than it is to smoke tobacco? I think the science says no. That’s why it’s evolved into edibles and things like that, just because of that very fact. Isn’t it also true the tobacco industry argued effectively for decades that tobacco was not addictive?

Jordan Flake: That’s true. Yeah.

Pat Hickey: In fact, there’s famous scenes … I think one of Michael Moore’s movies, you know, where they’re all lined up before Congress and the committee chair is now, “Is tobacco addictive or not?” “No, it is not,” Philip Morris. “No, it is not,” Marlboro Man, all the way down the line, when in fact Congressional research found that they knew from the 1930s that tobacco was addictive.

Proponents are saying marijuana is not addictive. It’s less harmful, less addictive. I think studies will show otherwise, and I do think we should be studying it more. Anecdotally, I think many of us know people, and I do as a child of the sixties … You can say it’s addictive or not, but I have friends that smoke it four or five times a day. Now if you want to call that an addiction or just a serious habit, to me that’s all … That’s a matter of-

Jordan Flake: Yeah. Pat Hickey, I appreciate you so much coming and talking to us. I have one more question here and then I’ll let you go. You’ve been great to answer all my questions. You make the argument that Sandoval’s new Nevada should focus on getting Faradays and Teslas in here. I certainly agree with that vision for our future, but at the same time isn’t there kind of this idea that we live in Sin City, we already participate in many, many of the vices out there and we actively market that image, and it would almost seem that marijuana is just a natural fit for that industry, that if you come to the Strip you can participate in a wide array of debauchery and now legally marijuana?

Part of the boon to the economy is this idea not necessarily of just the twenty million that would go to the schools, but also the increased commercial activity based on the … This is an argument out there and-

Pat Hickey: I get that. Of the forty-two million tourists that fly in annually and the rest that drive in from SoCal, maybe sixty million-

Jordan Flake: Sixty million a weekend.

Pat Hickey: Okay. According to proponents, and I think it’s true, and according to Metro, if they want to get marijuana now they can. Frankly, I don’t care about the impact of marijuana upon tourists. I do care about its impact upon Nevadans. This is a Nevadan’s choice, whether or not we want to decide to legalize, regardless of what other states have done. In the overall, I would say I don’t think it supports the direction that we’re trying to go in. I don’t think it’s going to be helpful for students in the state, where once it’s legalized, popularized, it will become more abundant, more acceptable, frankly more used. Colorado and Washington state already proved that. It’s just common sense.

I don’t want to see more barriers. I teach in the schools. I teach at the university level. I’m on the board of a charter school. I substitute teach in the Washoe County School District. I don’t want more barriers to our students’ finding success either beyond school or once they get into the workplace, and that’s why I’m opposing it.

Jordan Flake: Great. Pat Hickey, I really, really appreciate it. I feel like we could have talked two or three times this long. You have a lot of opinions and views on this and a lot of information. Thank you so much for giving us so much of your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you for joining us for ClearCast and please let us know what you think. We could potentially do a follow-up, especially if it doesn’t pass and comes on for another-

Pat Hickey: If it doesn’t pass, I’m taking a long vacation and I’m not going to talk about this stuff-

Jordan Flake: For a long time. Thank you so much Pat Hickey.

Thanks for joining us.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Just my personal opinion, but I thought Pat was great. I wish the “No on 2” campaign would stop trying to trick people, and adopt this course. You can make good arguments against marijuana legalization without being dishonest. Watch the video!
2. I speak of the prominent ‘Yes on 2’ folks
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