Nonmedical Marijuana Use Is (Mainly) Recreational, So Why Not Call It That?

This month Nevada’s medical marijuana dispensaries began serving all consumers 21 or older, not just patients with doctor’s recommendations. The name for this new sort of cannabis commerce, according to Question 2, the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized it, is “retail marijuana,” a term that fails to distinguish between medical use, which has been allowed in Nevada since 2001, and nonmedical use, which is newly legal. Question 2 also refers to “personal use,” which likewise does not elucidate the change made by the initiative.
This fuzziness is no accident. So far eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have approved general legalization of marijuana, all by ballot initiative. All of those measures avoid mentioning recreational use, preferring vague euphemisms such as retail, personal, and adult.
Reformers who eschew recreational have several concerns. Some worry that it sounds frivolous, while others say it is

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