Consuming cannabis or marijuana is legal in selected regions in the state of Nevada, particularly Las Vegas. Being a city benchmarked by glitz and activities that calls for drive that only such substance can give, the city is truly a famous spot for marijuana users. However, there is a catch: marijuana cannot be used in public. If caught, one will face various charges depending on the level of offense.
Just like Nevada, almost every state in America had banned public cannabis use. But with the fast-changing society of postmodern time, legalization of public marijuana use seems to be an inevitable thing. The following is a look of the probable effects of its implementation.
History of Marijuana Legalization in Las Vegas
Before its legalization as a recreational drug, marijuana was given to patients as a form of medication. By November of 2016, Nevada residents voted for marijuana to be legal in some areas in the state thus the establishment of Regulation of Taxation and Marijuana Act. In July 2017, the drug is ready for purchase from licensed dispensaries.
Conditions of Marijuana Use
In order to purchase marijuana, one must be 21 years old and older and is able to produce an identification card for proof. Minors who are medical patients can buy regardless of their age. Only in pot dispensaries can people acquire the said drug. Buying from unauthorized dealers or friends is prohibited.
For every person using it as a recreational drug, a single ounce can be bought while medical patients can stock up 2.5 ounces of the cannabis. Paraphernalia should also be acquired from authorized stores.
Under current law in Las Vegas, marijuana use in the public is strictly forbidden. This can be particularly disappointing to tourists expecting to be able to use marijuana during wild party nights in The Strip. Nevertheless, there are emerging establishments that offer private areas to tourists dedicated for marijuana consumption. In other establishments like workplaces and rented apartments, the administration has the right to ban smoking pot.
Effects of Marijuana Use in the Public
Currently, there are no states in Nevada where marijuana usage in the public is allowed. This could very well be attributed to public health issues and vehicular and road accidents that can occur while driving under the influence of the drug.
If marijuana happens to become legal for public expenditure, here are some of the positive and negative impacts that could be felt.
Making marijuana a public recreational drug will reduce the number of criminals as many are driven to engage in the illegal act (i.e., urged to smoke marijuana in the public if they cannot do it at home). It can also raise awareness that the government can use to properly teach people of how to not abuse the drug. Economy can also boom as jobs can increase and taxes can be put to the drug.
When marijuana is open to be used anywhere and anytime, risks of abuse is high. Due to its contents that increase violent behavior in a user, crimes and public outrages can be more prevalent. Aside from people being exposed to second hand smoke from marijuana, children and minors can get curious and try the drug themselves.
There are still no concrete movement that aim to legalize marijuana for public consumption. However, with the public giving more appreciation to the recreational drug, it only is a matter of time before legalizing public marijuana use is considered.
Violating Las Vegas Laws Regarding Marijuana
When caught smoking marijuana outside your private premises or in a vehicle, you will be charged with misdemeanor and will be required to pay a fine of $600. During initial violations, you cannot still go to jail but possessing more than the limit of 1 ounce will certainly incarcerate you. Penalties for first and second possession offense is a Category D felony and includes one to four years in prison and fines of 5,000 while a third offense is a Category E felony and has one to four years of prison time and a fine of $20,000!
Minors who are not medical patients can also be charged if they pretend to be more than 21 years old while buying cannabis. One cannot also gift marijuana to a minor or order them to buy for other people.
Accidentally smoking marijuana in the public can happen. Since this is still illegal, enlisting a drug defense lawyer to help defend your case is the next best step.