Nearly 60 now eligible for medical marijuana use in Nevada

The Associated Press
Wednesday December 05, 2001

CARSON CITY, Nev. – A new Nevada law has enabled 57 people with serious illnesses to get licenses to use medical marijuana. Nine others have been licensed as caregivers. 

There was an initial flood of applications when the program started Oct. 1. But Cecile Crofoot of the Agriculture Department, which oversees the program, said applications have tapered off since then. 

Crofoot said she mails out about five information packets a day, adding that the program seems to be working smoothly. 

Her office has mailed out 687 packets to individuals, but only about 10 percent return applications. Crofoot thinks many drop the idea when they learn the program is controlled to prevent drug abusers from getting a card. 

“Most of the druggies give up,” she said. 

The Nevada law allows individuals suffering from specific chronic and debilitating diseases such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma to register with the state. 

They get a registry card that exempts them from state prosecution for possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. Their names are confidential, as are the names of the doctors who signed letters qualifying them for the registry cards. 

There’s no guarantee the medical marijuana users won’t face federal prosecution, but Crofoot said federal drug agents have shown little interest in Nevada’s program thus far. 

Nevada law lets medical marijuana users grow their own plants, with assistance from licensed caregivers – typically spouses or partners. The program is modeled after one operating for several years in Oregon.