image of two 40-something women smoking pot

Legalization of marijuana will be on the table for the 2016 election in Nevada, thanks to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

The Coalition’s petition for the ballot initiative needed 102,000 signatures statewide, or a little more than 25,000 from each of the state’s four congressional districts, but far exceeded that number, handing over petitions with over 200,000 signatures to Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The initiative was a bipartisan effort led by Democratic state Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom of Las Vegas and Joe Brezny, a former Republican party official who now heads the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association.

“The voters in Nevada clearly want a new approach to regulating marijuana,” Brezny said in a statement. “They see that taxing and regulating marijuana … makes more sense than the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”

Nevada cities and counties have been preparing for medical marijuana for months, as individual cities and towns have been been adopting regulations for the legal distribution of medical marijuana.

The new measure would make private possession of up to an ounce of marijuana legal for people over age 21.

If passed, Nevada would join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, although many states are scurrying for similar ballot measures in time for 2016.

The ballot initiative is not a given, however; in Nevada, when you submit an item for consideration, either the Legislature is forced to consider the issue, or they will automatically put the question on the general election ballot. If the legislature decides to act, it would be up for consideration in 2015.