Very soon, Las Vegas may just eclipse Denver as the marijuana tourist capital of the U.S. Do you want to visit the newly green Sin City, but are unfamiliar with the marijuana laws, or what to do there?
To really have the best Las Vegas experience possible, acquiring Mary Jane is an absolute necessity. Since the landmark 2016 election, which saw the passage of Question 2, marijuana is now legal to possess in Nevada. Non-patients can have up to an ounce of flowers and 3.5 grams of concentrate; patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower. Nevada officials are currently fast-tracking legislation to allow dispensaries to sell to recreational users by as early as July. Until then, residents will need a medical card to purchase legal pot in a dispensary, if you suffer from one of the specified qualifying conditions. Patients with cards from other states are accepted.
Unfortunately, no social-use regulations are in place, so you can’t smoke legally on the famous Las Vegas Strip just yet, and smoking a joint in the many casinos remains prohibited.
Take a Spin on the High Roller
One of the most prominent features of the Las Vegas skyline is the High Roller giant Ferris wheel, next to The LINQ Hotel (355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.). At an impressive 520 feet in diameter and 550 feet high, it’s the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. This monstrous attraction boasts 28 cabins that can each hold up to 40 people. The spherical cabins are encased in glass, so you get a mind-boggling view of the Strip. There are also “Happy Half Hour” drinking cabins. But despite Nevada’s recent legalization, there have been no reports of any official “High Half Hour” smoking cabins for stoners. However, the ride’s announcer does inform passengers when they’re at the 420-foot mark. Rides cost from $8–$47.
Watch Waterworks at the Bellagio
The famous fountain show in front of the Bellagio Hotel (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) is one of the Strip’s most iconic every 15 minutes from 8 p.m.–midnight, when lighting enhances the effect. Each show is spectacularly choreographed to different music—everything from classical pieces to modern pop hits. The fountain’s powerful jets shoot water more that 450 feet in the air; it’s mesmerizing to watch. Inside the luxurious hotel there’s a conservatory room that changes décor with the seasons. During my most recent visit, it had a Chinese New Year theme with beautiful flowers and fountains.
Get Lost in the Miracle Mile
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, I definitely recommend the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood (3663 S. Las Vegas Blvd.). The mall is diagonally across the street from the Bellagio, right in the heart of the Strip. One large section inside looks like a Moroccan bazaar, complete with a painted sky-blue ceiling and decorative shop roofs. This section of the mall, formerly known as the “Desert Passage,” was built in 2000 with a $300 million price tag in the reconstructed Aladdin Hotel. It’s the perfect place to be if you’re looking to spend your money on something other than gambling.
Blow Your Mind at Cirque du Soleil
Many different shows take place nightly on the Strip. Magicians, like David Copperfield and Piff the Magic Dragon, and illusionists, like Criss Angel, are popular attractions, as are the many music-based shows like those performed by Blue Man Group and Human Nature Jukebox. And then there are the many Cirque du Soleil options: The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage Hotel, KÀ at the MGM Grand and Mystère at Treasure Island. After taking a few hits of Sour Diesel, I saw Mystère—two hours of laughs and gasps of amazement at the crazy costumes and acrobatic stunts. There are two shows per night Saturdays through Wednesdays. Tickets range from $54–$102.
Experience Fremont Street
A number of gambling and entertainment venues located right next to the Strip, the Fremont Street Experience, with its impressive lighting display, is indeed an experience in itself. There are plenty of bars and attractions, including a zip line, street performers and live music. (The huge zip line hovers above the entire street, if you’re feeling brave enough to give it a try.) If you’re high and want to take in a different side of Vegas, make sure to check out Fremont Street; I had a blast at the Zombie Bar Crawl.
Gamble Away from the Strip
Since gambling can be expensive on the Strip, and you don’t get the best odds at the casinos there, I suggest smaller spots like Silver Sevens (4100 Paradise Rd.), Silverton (3333 Blue Diamond Rd.), Green Valley Ranch (2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy. in nearby Henderson) and the many Station casinos around town (the Palace Station at 2411 W. Sahara Ave. is the closest to the Strip). These options offer better odds, and are less touristy and generally more relaxed than the hustle and bustle of the Strip casinos. If you’re traveling on a budget, the hotels off the Strip are cheaper to stay in and gamble at, and still give you the Las Vegas vibe.
Take a High Hike
Sometimes you need a break from the bright lights, soaring fountains and casino cacophony. Luckily, gorgeous desert mountains surround Las Vegas. Less than half an hour from the city limits, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers 23 trails to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous for hikers of all experience levels. However, beware of the poorly mapped paths that can easily get a stoner lost in the desert. Also, note that since Red Rock is a National Conservation Area, it’s on federal land, so be careful not to puff around strangers or BLM officers. If you prefer not to rough it, there’s a 13-mile scenic drive you can take without leaving your car.
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