Nevada just legalized recreational pot, joining several other states that offer the plant in a manner similar to alcohol. Now visitors and residents of Nevada who are 21 and older can show a valid I.D. and make a purchase.
Pot Hits the Nevada Jackpot
In November 2016, voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana. With new sales beginning just eight months later, the Associated Press called it, “the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country.”
It should be noted that marijuana is still classified as illegal by the federal government. Also, it remains illegal to consume marijuana in public places, including on the Las Vegas strip, in bars or casinos.
Nevada has now joined a handful of other states in legalizing cannabis for recreational use. Here are some of the highlights, according to Business Insider:
- In 2015 Alaska legalized the transport and sale of up to an ounce of recreational pot. More than a year later, the first pot dispensary opened.
- California led the way in legalizing medicinal marijuana in 1996. Recreational ratification didn’t occur until 2016, though, when the state legalized carrying and using up to an ounce without a prescription.
- Colorado offers recreational users a marijuana dispensary on every corner – or at least it seems that way. According to the Boston Magazine, there is 440 marijuana retail locations and 531 medical dispensaries. That’s almost double the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks in the state!
- In November 2016, Maine voters supported a referendum legalizing marijuana for recreational use, sale, and taxation. By January 2017 the state legislature placed a moratorium on implementing retail sales and taxation until at least February 2018. However, Maine residents over the age of 21 can still grow six pot plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces without legal prosecution under state law.
- In late 2016 Massachusetts voters also legalized recreational pot. In December, the legislature and Governor signed a bill blocking marijuana sales until the middle of 2018. Like Maine, residents can still grow plants in their homes and possess a small amount without a prescription.
- Oregon passed their recreational pot law in the summer of 2015. Residents can group up to four plants at home and give edibles as gifts as long as they’re not eaten in public.
- Washington legalized recreational pot in 2012. Since then the state has sold more than $1 billion of non-medical marijuana, generating $250 million in tax revenue.
- Finally, there’s our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., where voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014.
Clearly, Nevada is in good company. With the legalization and sale of marijuana, Nevada is just the next state in line to recognize the relaxing and enjoyable nature of this useful plant.
The pro-legalization website MaryJane suggests that there are at least 14 more states that “have strong policymakers working to actively legalize and regulate cannabis.” While national polls show 90% of Americans support medical marijuana and 60% support full legalization, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Our country’s current Attorney General has expressed a desire to go after marijuana growers. Despite widespread public support and state ratification, the future of marijuana remains uncertain.