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Slot Machines Aren’t The Only Thing You Can Legally Light Up In Las Vegas

1 minute Read

Ever stroll down the Vegas Strip and wish you were high? Forget having to sneak a joint in a shadowy corner or dose some edibles before you leave the hotel room. A new bill might just allow you to smoke, or vape, in public.

Acknowledging that Vegas is a place where people go to imbibe, State Senator Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas), sponsor of the bill, says there should be a place where tourists can use weed in public.

“That’s what we do. We sell sex. We sell drugs. We sell gambling,” Segerblom said. Now, following the passage of the state’s adult use legalization measure, Nevadans also sell weed. “If we’re going to attract people to Nevada to use marijuana, which I think we are, then we need to find a place to use it.”

Nevada Senate Bill 236 would allow tourists and locals alike to publicly consume cannabis, so long as the local government sanctions it. Currently, despite having legalized marijuana for adult use, consuming cannabis anywhere outside a private residence is still a misdemeanor.

Under SB 236, local jurisdictions could foster public safe spaces to smoke weed by issuing licenses to businesses like bars, dispensaries, yoga studios, and pop-up events, such as the High Times Cannabis Cup, Burning Man, or Electric Daisy Carnival.

While you may be thinking, “why not just hotbox the hotel room?”, it’s technically illegal for tourists to use cannabis in hotels because under federal law cannabis is not allowed in the same building where gambling takes place.

“My concern is that given that fact, we’re going to have lots of people come here to Nevada and want to purchase it, and then we’re going to have to figure out where they can use it. Then, they’re going to be walking up and down the strip or walking in downtown Reno, which I don’t think any of us want,” Segerblom told the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee.

“More than anything {SB 236} is just providing an environment where people are comfortable, safe, and they’re around other like-minded cannabis users,” said Joey Gilbert, vice president of governmental affairs for MYNT Cannabis Dispensary.

Of course not everyone favors the bill. Law enforcement, including The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, have concerns about public safety and the broad eligibility for obtaining a license. That said, while nearly any type of business can get a license allowing for public consumption, individual jurisdictions have the ability to opt out of the program altogether.

Slot Machines Aren’t The Only Thing You Can Legally Light Up In Las Vegas