Smoking a joint down at your favorite pub could be a possibility for Nevadans under a newly introduced state Senate bill.
SB 236, introduced to the Senate floor Monday, would allow local governments to issue licenses for public marijuana use.
Under laws that took effect Jan. 1, marijuana possession is legal, but consuming it anywhere but inside a private residence is considered a misdemeanor. And getting caught could mean a hefty fine.
SB 236, sponsored by state Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, would let local governments effectively create marijuana safe-havens. Local governments would be able to issue licenses to businesses like bars, marijuana dispensaries and even yoga studios, or for one-off events like the Electric Daisy Carnival, under the bill.
Businesses and events that apply for the permits would need to have a 21-and-older age restriction for customers.
Those permits would not be allowed for business or events within 1,000 feet of any school or community facility, such as a park, church or day care.
Segerblom has argued that Nevada — and especially Clark County — needs to allow for some public marijuana use so tourists have a place to consume the drug legally. The Nevada Gaming Commission said last fall that casinos should not promote or allow public consumption, meaning tourists staying on the Strip are limited in where they can use the product.
But some local lawmakers, like Clark County commissioners Steve Sisolak and Mary Beth Scow, expressed concern over the idea when asked in January. Both said pushing for public use so quickly after the drug became legal is too much, too soon.
None of the nine Republicans in the Senate would comment Monday night on the proposal.
The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.