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What You Need to Know About Las Vegas and Marijuana

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... unless there's a police record! Here's what you need to know about 420 in Sin City.

By Zach FosterPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
Las Vegas Strip at night. Image courtesy of the NV Department of Transportation

Many leading successful entrepreneurs--the multi-millionaires whose books and seminars people pay a ton of money for--all say you should get paid to do what you enjoy so your money works for you instead of you working for money. In this spirit, I work a great side gig as a nightclub party host on the Las Vegas Strip.

I have guests asking me random drug questions all the time. I also see the occasional stoner on the Strip get taken away in handcuffs. To avoid a ruined vacation and a string of legal problems, here's what you need to know about marijuana laws in Las Vegas and the State of Nevada.

Is marijuana legal in Las Vegas?

Marijuana is legal in Nevada but not "the USA". That means any adult in Nevada age 21 and over can have up to an ounce on them at any time, or 6 plants at home. However, it's still listed as a Schedule 1 substance, so it's illegal on the Federal level. Airports are under federal jurisdiction, so don't try to fly with weed. So it's federally outlawed, but any adult 21 and up can possess it in Nevada (this is why the 10th Amendment and states' rights are important).

Also, most of the bar and nightclub workers don't know where you can buy cocaine, so please stop asking them to put their job on the line 'cause you've seen too many gangster movies.

Can people smoke weed on the Strip?

Just because it's legal for adults to have weed in Nevada, and just because adults can openly drink on the Strip, does not mean it's legal to smoke weed on the Strip. On New Years 2017, just after midnight, when recreational use and possession became legal, some idiots lit a joint right in front of Vegas Metro PD officers. Guess where they spent the night!

In Nevada, marijuana is like alcohol in any other state: you can have it at home, you can have it at the licensed bar where you bought it, but you can't do it out in public. A lot of people still smoke marijuana on the Strip because not everybody will get caught. But if there are no problems, and if someone has their kids with them and doesn't appreciate the smell, people will report stoners and point them out to the police on the Strip.

The best bet for blazing in Vegas is to get a smoking room at a hotel, make friends with an open pad, or just drive outside of town for a few hours. Las Vegas is one city in a sea of open desert! For the Strip, edibles and cannabis vape pens are a way better bet, low-key and less of a legal risk, and way more respectful to the non-stoners around you.

Where can people buy weed in Las Vegas?

Here's a crappy gray zone in the law: any 21 year old can have cannabis in Nevada in 2017, but only medical marijuana patients can legally buy it at the dispensaries. Non-patients have to wait to buy recreational marijuana til New Years 2018. Luckily for MMJ patients, most dispensaries in the Las Vegas area accept out-of-state medical recommendations.

There are lots of shady people that will be selling weed on the Strip--just follow the smell. It's a risk, though. You never really know what product you're buying from these strangers, and you also never know which of the 80 tourists crowded around you is an undercover Vegas Metro PD officer.

Important things to remember

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas..." unless there are police records involved! All adults have to make their own choices, but if you knowingly break laws, there are consequences if you get caught.

Many people who use cannabis will also drink in Vegas, and being cross-faded makes people do stupid things. Remember, all bouncers and police tolerate few or no shenanigans, so being too much of a cartoon character will result in brawny men manhandling you and taking you away.

Also, a DUI is a DUI! If you're getting good and high, don't drive. Uber and Lyft are crushing it in this city; an $8 Uber ride will save you a $10,000 DUI. Be careful with Tinder and only meet your matches in public places--one of my friends recently got robbed by a real hottie from Tinder who called her homeboys to smash and grab. For everything you do, remember to be safe, be careful, and never go anywhere alone with a stranger.

Las Vegas is a giant playground, and it'll get even bigger once everybody can buy recreational marijuana from dispensaries in 2018. Have fun, but remember to be smart and play it cool.


About the Creator

Zach Foster

Freelance writer. Served as a reserve soldier. Occasionally works as a private contractor. Senior Contributor for the Libertarian Party of Nevada blog.

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