Increasing Cannabis Problem At The Las Vegas Strip Raises Concerns

Legal marijuana consumption has raised a new concern on the Las Vegas Strip. Now tourists can purchase and carry cannabis legally in the state of Nevada after the government legalized the use of all recreational drugs. 

You can smoke cannabis in public areas. However,  recently this caused a major issue. Many people are stone driving which is leading to fatal car crashes in the area. 

Las Vegas resort casino operators, such as Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, cannot house dispensaries or cannabis lounges since they are regulated by federal law. This forces people to leave the Strip or downtown resorts to buy marijuana and legally smoke it. As a result, tourists are forced into cars, which can create fears of fatal car crashes. According to the recent reports number of crashes has doubled since 2016 due to being high on marijuana. 

The new law states that people can purchase, smoke and carry marijuana legally on public spaces. This has forced people to smoke somewhat clandestinely in Strip resort casino parking lots and other somewhat discrete locations. This quirk in the law keeps tourists from smoking and driving. However, this could change later this year when new rules allow dispensaries to add consumption lounges to their locations. This may push the number of fatal crashes higher, and Las Vegas Police have been gearing up to handle the increase.

Las Vegas Police have been taking part in training programs designed to help them detect impaired drivers. The lack of standardized enforcement practices for cannabis creates a challenge in determining what is considered under the influence. Unlike alcohol-related DUIs, there are no specific standards tied to the level of marijuana intoxication.

Clark County regulations require lounges to create impaired driving prevention plans and adopt a minimum 24-hour no-tow policy for customers who want to leave their cars and return when they’re sober. Establishments also must stop selling marijuana products two hours before closing. Despite the challenges, law enforcement is working to keep the Las Vegas Strip safe for everyone. 

Tista Karmakar

Tista is a Journalist, Researcher and an avid Media Professional.

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