Don’t Pass That Joint … Yet

Recreational marijuana may be legal, but you can still break the law

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and especially not in Las Vegas. While it became legal for adults to possess marijuana on January 1, 2017, those who thought they’d sashay into a shop at midnight and come out with a bag of the good stuff found it’s a bit more complicated than that.

“Dispensaries are receiving a high volume of visits and phone calls from people who think they can now legally purchase marijuana. The dispensaries let them know they cannot make the purchases legally until retail stores are licensed by the state,” says Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association. While it is legal for adults over 21 to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, the state legislature has yet to establish a way for those adults to purchase it—dispensary sales are still restricted to medical marijuana card holders.

“Dispensaries are not set up right now to do recreational,” says Laura Meltzer, a public information officer at the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, who points out that it is also illegal for people to sell or give away marijuana bought in dispensaries to non-cardholders, although adults are permitted to “cultivate their own, up to 6 plants per adult.” Public consumption is also illegal, meaning that smoking in bars, restaurants and clubs is prohibited. Meltzer also would like to remind people that “you still can’t drive impaired, so if you’re planning on partaking, make preparations.”

So, when will adults be able to legally buy the weed they are permitted to legally have? It is hoped that shops will be open to the general public later this year but, as Durrett points out, “There is no way to know for certain when recreational sales will occur.” As we wait for the word on when from Carson City, Vegas Seven will keep you posted…