As of July 1 2017, marijuana sales have become legal in the state of Nevada and thousands of people have come out celebrating this momentous occasion.
Nevada is right now the eighth state in the United States to allow the legal sale of marijuana. Several people showed up to wait in lines as the clock struck midnight for their first legal purchase of the drug.
Many of them even took to celebrating the occasion by lighting up firecrackers that covered the Nevada sky in green.
The legalization of marijuana has come a long way since its inception in the 1990s.
Though the U.S. government proposed marijuana regulations in 1937, it was only until 1996 that it was legalized for medical purposes in the state of California.
It was used to alleviate symptoms for a number of diseases ranging from glaucoma to social anxiety disorders.
Over time, more than 22 states approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons. In recent years, several states have even legalized its use for recreational purposes.
Regulations for the drug, however, are different from state to state.
According to the recent legislation, adults above 21 years of age can buy up to one ounce of marijuana. However, due to state casino and federal laws, it cannot be sold anywhere on the Las Vegas Strip.
Interestingly enough, as hundreds of people queued up to make their first purchase, was one of the first in line was Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom.
He is affectionately nicknamed the “godfather of the marijuana movement” by voters.
In an interview, he said that every time someone buys marijuana, 33 cents is taxed—making it one of the most heavily regulated industries in Nevada.
It is also expected to create about $60 million in tax revenue over the next couple of years.
To celebrate such an awaited occasion, one couple in Las Vegas decided to get married with a marijuana-themed wedding.
Unlike most brides, Anna’s bouquet consisted of not flowers but weed leaves, which went perfectly with a giant bud neatly sported in the groom’s coat pocket.
Mark, the groom, said that he was at a loss for words and felt good when asked about the implementation of the new law.
Their wedding took place in a giant, beautiful marijuana warehouse, filled with close friends and family.
For others, the implications of the new law still haven’t registered properly. One individual expressed shock, as he always had trouble with the police for possessing weed.
Now holding the receipt in his hands, he is surprised at how far the fight for legalizing marijuana has come.
Though people are free to purchase marijuana in moderation, its use for recreational purposes is restricted to private consumption in homes only.
Smoking weed in public will land you with a $600 fine if you’re caught. It is also banned from use in public places such as casinos, bars, concerts, and even federal properties.
Though there were large crowds in front of dispensaries waiting to make their first legal purchase, the police were surprised to find that there were absolutely no issues taking place.
Everyone present was calm and just genuinely happy that such a day had finally come around. Not a single person was seen smoking in public or performing any illegal acts.
Though it was a momentous and welcomed occasion for many people, the legalization has its fair share of opponents who seem to ignore the facts and fight against marijuana being readily available to the public.
Scott Chipman, who is the co-chairman of CALM or Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, has voiced his beliefs that the drug hurts consumers and their children.
He argues activities like swimming and biking are recreational in nature, and use of marijuana shouldn’t be considered the same.
He and many others in the organization are worried about the message it will send to future generations.
They believe living in an altered state of mind as a recreational activity is not something that should be encouraged, especially among teenagers.
Others like Ira Hansen, of the Nevada General Assembly, have different concerns.
According to a recent interview, Hansen said legalization of marijuana is the last thing Las Vegas needs as the city is already filled with intoxicated people.
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