Smoking marijuana in public places could soon become a thing on the Las Vegas Strip, that is if one state lawmaker has a say in how the state moves forward with its newly legalized recreational pot market.
Earlier this week, Senator Tick Segerblom introduced a bill to the Nevada Senate aimed at giving local governments the ability to issue licenses that allow people to smoke weed in designated public areas. The proposal (Senate Bill 236) is intended to provide the locals, as well as the tourism community, with “marijuana safe-havens,” which would most likely operate in bars, dispensaries or even yoga studios, according a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
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A similar measure, which was designed as a one-year pilot program to test the waters of social marijuana use, was passed last year in Denver, Colorado. Since then, however, lawmakers have been working to bypass all of the experimental shenanigans and make public pot consumption something the entire state can enjoy. A bill calling for this reform was recently approved by a Senate committee and is now set to go before the full Senate for a vote.
If Nevada’s legislative forces approach the issue with the same tenacity as Colorado is working to do, it is distinctly possible that we could see places like Las Vegas (Clark County), which attracts around 39.2 million visitors every year, become a stoner oasis.
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Senator Segerblom, the driving force behind Nevada’s social use proposal, believes it is imperative for the state to put a law of this nature on the books in order to prevent a law enforcement nightmare. Although marijuana is now fully legal all over the state, it remains a violation of the law for anyone to consume pot products anywhere other than residential dwellings. This means the millions of tourists who pour into hot spots like Vegas will have no choice but to break the law if they wish to partake in the state’s newly legal cannabis operation.
And trust us, Nevada wants tourists to spend money on weed.
Last year, a report from the Las Vegas Sun suggested that Nevada stands to relish in $7.5 billion in economic activity over the next seven years because of the recreational marijuana trade. This includes $464 million in estimated tax revenue and the creation of almost 41,000 new jobs.
Considering the estimates, it is easy to see why it is so important for Nevada to make its pot laws tourism friendly.
Unfortunately, not everyone believes the state is ready to take such a bold leap.
Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Mary Beth Scow have voiced concerns over the concept of social use. They feel it is “too much, too early,” reports the Journal.
Nevertheless, Senate Bill 236 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it proves successful there, it would then go before the full Senate for a vote.
Nevada is expected to launch a temporary recreational marijuana market later this summer.