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Reno ordinance prohibits public use of medical marijuana

Medical marijuana is soon coming to Reno, but you won’t see people lighting up outside. This week, the Reno City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that prohibits the use of the drug in public.

Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson says the main reason for the law is to get people to use the medical treatment at home because public possession of it is unsafe. He says that’s one of the lessons he learned from Denver when he visited the city and spoke to officials there.

“Medical marijuana became targeted by black market marijuana dealers because they wanted that highly concentrated and pure marijuana to sell,” Robinson says.

Currently, Nevada statute prohibits public use of medical marijuana in the state, but Robinson says that a local law will help Reno officers:

“Just for ease of enforcement, just so officers out in the field have something so they can issue a citation, or a warning, or an arrest from.” 

Adoption of the ordinance will take place at a future Council meeting.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.