CBS Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The head of a civil rights group in northern Nevada said Friday the incoming state Legislature should legalize marijuana for recreational use instead of leaving the question to voters.

Jeffrey Blanck, president of the Reno and Sparks chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, cast legalization as a race issue.

He pointed to studies, including a June 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, that say blacks are far more likely than whites to face arrest and prosecution for marijuana possession.

“I want the Legislature to do it because we elected them to be leaders,” Blanck said.

Blanck wants lawmakers to support a petition submitted by a group called the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which said it submitted nearly 200,000 signatures — almost twice as many as needed to qualify for the ballot. Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller has verified…

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