As Nevada braces for recreational pot sales, public support reaches new high

As legalized marijuana expands in the Las Vegas Valley, supporters and detractors debate whether it is a gateway to harder drugs. (Nathan O’Neal/KSNV)

Legal marijuana is already the law of the land in Nevada but support for legalizing pot in the United States is reaching a new high.

4/20 marks an annual celebration of marijuana by supporters and according to a recent poll, 61 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal.

Additionally, as Nevada braces for the start of recreational marijuana sales, a new Yahoo News poll found that 52 percent of Americans admit to smoking pot at some point in their lives.

“I think we’ve seen it with Question 2 and how it overwhelmingly passed. People have seen under the medical rules that it hasn’t created those issues that people are afraid of – the sky hasn’t fallen,” said Matthew Gardiner, the Vice President of Shango Las Vegas.

Despite most Americans’ opposition to federal interference in state marijuana programs, the industry faces uncertainty from the feds.

“Let me be clear about marijuana. It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug,” said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Meanwhile Nevada’s marijuana industry is fighting back.

“It’s not the gateway drug it’s painted to be. You look at what it has done for society, what we have done with cannabis. We have helped people get off opioids. We have helped create an alternative to these harder drugs,” said Gardiner.

Recreational pot sales are on track to start in Nevada as early as this summer, with a target start date of July 1.

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