Legal Marijuana at Pedal the West
Here’s some information for those who like marijuana
and for those who don’t.
The short version:
• Recreational marijuana is legal for adults where we pedal in Nevada and Arizona.
• You want to enjoy some legal weed? Great. Info below.
• You want nothing to do with weed -- you don't want to use it, see it, or smell it? Great. Got you covered. Nothing about the ride has changed. It's still the same wonderful Pedal the West ride we've run for years. This is NOT The Marijuana Ride.
The longer version, which is at least 72% more interesting:
Imagine if instead of Pedal the West, we were riding through beautiful Kentucky.
Some people might stop at a store and buy a bottle of Kentucky’s famous whiskey.
Other people couldn’t care less about whiskey and would skip it.
Same idea here.
During Pedal the West some people might stop at a store and buy some legal marijuana.
Other people couldn’t care less about marijuana and will skip it.
If you don't like marijuana you will never see it, smell it, or be encouraged to use it during this ride.
• • •
Think about any other ride you’ve ever been on. At the end of the day a cyclist might say, “I’m going to grab a beer -- anyone want to come along?” Those who want a beer go; those who don’t want a beer don’t.
Not much difference here.
At the end of the day someone might say, “I’m going off to smoke some [legal] marijuana -- anyone want to come along?” Those who want to smoke go; those who don’t want to smoke don’t.
You will never feel pressured to smoke if that's not for you.
• • •
Back home there are lots of places that are No Smoking areas -- bars, restaurants, hotel lobbies.... Nevada and Arizona are the same way, except a No Smoking sign there means no smoking tobacco or marijuana. If you want to avoid marijuana entirely you’ll have no trouble doing so.
• • •
If we were pedaling in Cuba we’d provide you with information about where to get Cuban cigars. Those cigars are still illegal at home and not necessarily great for your health, but we know that some folks on the trip would like that info. Mature adults could decide for themselves whether they wanted a Cuban cigar or not.
We’ll do the same thing here -- provide information about where to get legal marijuana. Mature adults can decide for themselves whether they want it or not.
The rest of this page contains information only for those adults who want to buy legal marijuana.
Not of interest to you? Just skip it.
WHO CAN USE AND BUY MARIJUANA?
Anyone who is at least 21 years old can buy and use marijuana legally in Nevada and Arizona.
Minors can not buy or use marijuana in either state, and may not enter marijuana stores.
HOW MUCH WEED CAN I BUY? WHERE DO I GET IT? WHAT'S IT COST?
Easy there big fellah!
The landscape is changing fast, but at this writing here’s where we are:
How Much Can I Buy?
The smallest purchase in most stores is one gram. You can often buy pre-rolled joints for less than the price of one gram.
Marijuana: one ounce in Nevada or Arizona
Marijuana Concentrate (often called "wax" or shatter")
3.5 grams in Nevanda
5 grams in Arizona
If it's been awhile, please be aware that today’s legal marijuana is much MUCH stronger than what you may have experienced back in your youth. I wouldn’t rush in and buy the maximum-allowed quantity all at once until you’ve taken it for a test drive; you might wind up using only a small fraction of that purchase and then have to throw away the rest before you head home -- more info below.
Where to Buy Legal Marijuana
Marijuana shops are called dispensaries. You must be at least 21 years old to enter a dispensary.
Just like liquor stores back home, marijuana dispensaries vary from kinda cheesy to elegant full-service locations.
Las Vegas has LOTS of dispensaries... but none on The Strip itself. Plenty of locations nearby and you can even get marijuana delivered to your hotel room. (Of course! It's Las Vegas!) There are also dispensaries in Flagstaff and Sedona.
Prices are always changing, and dispensaries often have daily sales and specials, like any other retailer.
At this writing we’re seeing prices for grams from $12 - $30. Add state and local taxes on top of that -- approximately 15% in Nevada and 23% in Arizona. (Trivia note: while the taxes are higher in AZ, the prices seem to be lower. Go figure!)
Buying 3.5 grams at once (1/8 ounce) or more can often save you 10 percent - 15 percent over the by-the-gram price. (But again, beware of buying too much at once and then having to throw it away before heading home -- details below).
How Do I Buy Legal Marijuana?
To buy marijuana you will need a government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license or passport) that shows that you are at least 21 years old. You must show your photo I.D. every single time you shop, no matter how old you look. Your personal information is not recorded.
MOST dispensaries are CASH ONLY. A few dispensaries will accept a DEBIT card, and ATMs are usually nearby.
Why no credit cards?
Because even though marijuana is legal in Nevada and Arizona, it is illegal in most of the U.S., so the banks and credit card processors are afraid of running afoul of federal regulators.
Most shops have a menu posted in their store and on their web site showing the various marijuana strains (varieties) they have for sale. Menus can change daily, and items do sell out, so call ahead if there’s a particular strain you have your heart set on. There is also usually a complete selection of weaponry. (Pipes, vapes, rolling papers....)
Can I buy pot brownies?
At the dispensaries there is a huge range of legal edibles for sale that contain marijuana -- cookies, brownies, drinks, candies... Read the dosage information CAREFULLY and ask the store’s staff for advice.
Please be aware that it can easily take one hour (or longer) for edible marijuana to take effect. (So don't get impatient after 20 minutes, eat some more... then more... Leave your impersonation at home please).
Tricking an unsuspecting person into eating marijuana edibles is among the lowest forms of human behavior and will not be tolerated on this trip -- violators will be sent home immediately. NO REFUNDS.
I’ve never used marijuana but I want to try some on this trip.
Suppose a friend said to you, “I’ve never had alcohol before, but I want to try some right now.”
What advice would you give them?
Probably something along the lines of, “Have fun, be careful, take it slow, and never drive (or pedal) while intoxicated.”
Where can I smoke?
The short answer: if you don't act like a jerk, you'll be fine. But please read on for important information.
Under Nevada and Arizona law you can not smoke in public.
Throughout the U.S. many hotels now have only no-smoking guest rooms. If you smoke ANYTHING in a no-smoking room you may get hit with a serious fee on your bill.
There is an on-going debate about whether you can smoke on the balcony of your hotel room or on the hotel’s patio. Each hotel handles this differently.
SO... where to smoke?
The local police have taken a low-key approach to enforcement provided you are discreet. And it's always polite to keep marijuana smoke away from those who don't want it. We have promised all of our cyclists that they will not smell marijuana smoke on this trip and we need you to do your part.
Remember that if you are smoking in public view you are, technically, breaking the law, just like drinking a beer in public. (So you may want to leave that 6' bong at home...)
Of course there are always edibles...
Can I pedal while I’m high? Can I smoke while I’m riding?
If we were cycling and stopped for lunch, would it be OK if you had a bottle of beer or a glass of wine?
Would it be OK if you got stinking drunk?
And there we are.
Basically, if you are so high or drunk that you are a problem, we will not hesitate to grab you by the ear (or any other appendage we can reach...) and yank you off the road immediately. NO REFUNDS.
Can I take some pot home with me as a souvenir? How about a marijuana cookie? Just a little?
As soon as you enter the Phoenix airport at the end of the trip you are under federal law -- marijuana is illegal and you can go to jail. You may not put marijuana in your checked luggage or mail it home, even if the destination is another state where marijuana is legal.
Don't foregt that you also can not carry a lighter on an airline. If you wish you can buy a cheap one when you arrive for a buck; toss it out before you hop on the plane home.
If we are transporting your gear back home, our truck may be searched when we cross the state line. Think twice about hiding marijuana in your luggage or inside your bikes' frame... especially because an I.D. tag with your name on it is going to be attached!