Nearly 19,000 people living in Nevada have medical marijuana cards and for those residents, there are several restrictions.
In Clark County alone, according to the state, nearly 13,000 people are active patient card holders.
To use medical marijuana legally, you’re expected to play by the rules and some that stand out involve firearms, driving, and children.
“It is absolutely improving the lives of many people in Nevada,” said Jason Sturtsman.
He is a medical marijuana patient. He is also a manager at Dispensary Las Vegas Releaf, and the vice president of Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada or WECAN.
“Cannabis is medicine,” he said.
He’s been passionate about the issue since the age of 16 and he knows the restrictions patients face. Medical marijuana patients in Nevada are expected to follow rules.
“You just have to make sure that you educate yourself with the laws,” said Metro Police Officer Larry Hadfield. “You don’t want to find yourself in a bind just because you are prescribed a certain medication and you find yourself, you feel your legal, but you’re not.”
At the top of the list: Don’t drive under the influence. However, the effects of marijuana can remain in the system days after use so while a blood test may reveal levels to earn a patient a DUI advocates like Strurtsman call that unjust.
He has the same opinion for the firearms restriction.
“As a prohibited person you should know that you are not allowed to be around firearms or have immediate access to firearms,” Officer Hadfield said.
“To deny someone, a medical marijuana patient, a soccer mom, or somebody who just wants to help them get to sleep or reduce their pain the night before and not be able to go into a store the next day and be able to purchase a firearm or apply for a conceal weapons permit is a travesty,” Sturtsman said.
And for parents who are medical marijuana patients, a word of caution.
“You could find yourself in an abuse neglect type of situation if you’re purposely exposing your children to THC. Officer Hadfield says medical marijuana should not be smoked near children.
As for the gummy bears and cookies that contain marijuana.
“You should always keep all of your edibles always locked up,” Sturtsman said. He recommends childproofing.
Medical marijuana is also not allowed in a public places.
“We would laugh about it for years that we’re not allowed on the New York New York rollercoaster or we’re not allowed to go to Wet N Wild or Cowabunga Bay,” Sturtsman said. “But I don’t see people, law enforcement lining up at amusement rides checking people to see if they’re high before they get on the New York New York rollercoaster.”
Sturtsman is advocating for cannabis lounges, places outside of the home, where he says patients should be able to use their medical marijuana.
He is also pushing for the legalization of recreational use.