Laws still ban public marijuana use

LAS VEGAS - When recreational marijuana sales begin on July 1, there won't be any place for the public consumption of pot and that is seen as an issue in a town than banks on tourists.

Tourists are expected to be standing in line Friday night waiting to buy some marijuana.

Hotels will be making it clear that it's not welcome on their property.

The concern is that some people might turn to renting out a house for the weekend. Short-term rentals have been in the headlines for the past week.

A concern over party houses led the Las Vegas City Council to pass tighter restrictions on properties like airbnb's.

And in the county, they're illegal though hundreds still operate.

Nevada's current marijuana laws essentially restrict pot consumption to inside private residences. That leaves open the possibility of renting a house.

"That's not a good solution, but it's going to happen, and that's why I've told people at the legislature, don't put your head in the sand, we've got to figure out a way to get around this issue," said state Senator Tick Segerblom, (D) Clark County.

He has sponsored most of the marijuana bills that lawmakers have considered in recent legislative sessions. One of his bills that didn't pass would have let permitted businesses allow marijuana smoking.

"We've got to figure out a way to get around this issue, because people are going to come here, they're going to want to buy it, it's legal, they're going to want to use it, so let's figure out how to do that," he said.

Segerblom, who is an attorney, believes under the law local governments may be able to issue special use permits allowing marijuana consumption anyway.

He has asked legislative attorneys for an opinion which is expected in a week or two. If they agree, He says, that could open the door to a number of alternatives for tourists.

"People have come to me about having marijuana airbnb's, bed and breakfasts, hotels, renting out golf courses, renting out restaurants, there's all kinds of ideas out there," Segerblom said.

As for Friday night, a city of Las Vegas spokesman said he was not aware of any increased code enforcement efforts regarding short-term rentals at this time.

And a Clark County spokesman says they will look into any complaints they receive
 


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