By Steve Elliott
Las Vegas may have hosted this year's Marijuana Business Convention and Expo, but historically it hasn't been a friendly city to the weed. Things are looking to change for the positive, though, next year, when medical marijuana dispensaries are scheduled to open and welcome out-of-state tourists with authorizations from their own states.
This, therefore, may have been the last year of strangely jarring discrepancies such as the one had by photographer/herbalist Lisa Little (who also operates a medical marijuana collective in her home state of Washington) when she called the the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino -- which hosted the marijuana convention -- to ask about specific smoking policies to accommodate medicinal cannabis patients.
Little told me that after speaking with no fewer than four different Rio employees, none of whom seemed sympathetic to her plight, and all of whom, she said, "treated me as if they thought I was a criminal," she still hadn't gotten an adequate answer as to what accommodations might be available for out-of-state patients who might need to medicate on premises at the expo.
"They finally handed me off to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department Narcotics Unit," Lisa told me with a sigh. "The officer, once again, treated me as if I were some sort of felon, reminding me that I'd better not break the rules in Nevada -- and I had to ask him, if I was planning on breaking the rules, why would I call the police department and tell them so?"