Recreational marijuana may be legal in Nevada and eight other states but there remains one glaring problem: no places to legally smoke them.
When policymakers are confronted with the task of creating rules for legal marijuana consumption within their states, they often find themselves in internal conflict with their own statutory regulations.
For instance, most of these states have held laws against smoking indoors, making the crafting of rules for marijuana lounges tricky. The lack of data on how pot smoke affects another person in the same room also makes it harder to gauge smoking rules compared to the same dilemma with tobacco.
Although some cities within these states might have come up with temporary rules for marijuana consumption, they still run into the very same problems that state regulators struggle with.
Experts say the four states that legalized recreational pot through ballot initiatives last year may have better chances of getting around the issue. Nevada, for example, allows smoking inside most bars and clubs, opening doors for lounges.
California and Maine permits consuming the drug within retail stores and other businesses. Maine’s ballot initiative even includes rules for licensed marijuana clubs.
A legal struggle
“It’s just a very divisive area,” says marijuana law consultant Andrew Freedman on why there is hardly any progress on the making of statutory rules on cannabis. Among the most common barriers pointed out include clean air rules, health and safety concerns as well as political divisions.