By SAM METZ AP / Report for America
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A flurry of legal guidelines handed by the Nevada Legislature earlier this yr take impact on Friday — ushering in reforms that Democratic lawmakers who’ve majorities in each the state Senate and Meeting have lengthy campaigned to implement.
5 years after the the state’s voters accepted legalizing leisure hashish in Nevada, enterprise house owners can now apply for licenses to ascertain on-site consumption lounges, the place adults can smoke, dab or eat THC-laced edibles that they purchase.
A regulation launched by Assemblyman Steve Yeager that enables the Hashish Compliance Board to start out accepting functions takes impact on Friday. As soon as licensed, the lounges will change into the primary public locations in Nevada the place hashish merchandise might be consumed recreationally.
The state’s rising hashish business has promoted the lounges for his or her financial improvement potential and pitched them as a draw for the thousands and thousands of vacationers who go to Las Vegas yearly however can’t legally use the merchandise in locations like accommodations.
The allowing system created beneath the brand new regulation prioritizes Black and Latino candidates who’ve been “adversely affected by provisions of earlier legal guidelines which criminalized exercise regarding hashish.”
A points-based system to attain candidates was launched after knowledge confirmed the state’s hashish business to be disproportionately white and male — a discovering that involved lawmakers and advocates who mentioned it pointed to the racial disparities in how drug offenses had been prosecuted earlier than legalization.
Licensing charges for the lounges vary from $10,000 to $100,000 however might be diminished for candidates affected by earlier drug legal guidelines. Nevada is now amongst seven states that now permits hashish lounges.
Different new state legal guidelines taking impact:
POLICE USE OF FORCE
Following the 2020 protests after final yr’s police killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, lawmakers handed a invoice altering the requirements for when Nevada regulation enforcement officers can use lethal power. It requires departments to undertake de-escalation methods as a part of their coaching and use lethal power solely when it’s “objectively affordable beneath the circumstances.”
The regulation additionally limits police use of restraint chairs, restricts officers from capturing rubber bullets or tear fuel indiscriminately to disperse protests and requires departments to routinely submit use-of-force experiences to the state Lawyer Normal.
NO KNOCK WARRANTS
After the loss of life of Breonna Taylor throughout the police raid of her dwelling in Kentucky, statehouses all through the nation moved to restrict the form of no-knock warrants that had been the pretext used to enter the Black girl’s dwelling.
In Nevada, a invoice sponsored by Lawyer Normal Aaron Ford that turns into regulation Friday narrows when departments can search no-knock warrants to situations the place they’re crucial to stop destruction of proof or defend the security of officers. Legislation enforcement businesses mentioned the warrants had been hardly ever issued or utilized in Nevada. Ford argued it was essential to enshrine what was beforehand solely police division coverage into state regulation.
PATTERN AND PRACTICE INVESTIGATIONS
One other measure promoted by Ford expands his workplace’s jurisdiction to research police misconduct. The Lawyer Normal can now conduct “sample and observe” investigations in gentle of alleged police misconduct to find out whether or not the misconduct stems from departmental insurance policies, customs and tradition or particular person officers.
Supporters mentioned exterior oversight will assist fight discriminatory patterns and practices, whereas opponents, together with the union representing Las Vegas deputy sheriffs, decried it as political and pointless.
PAY EQUITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Employers can now not ask job candidates about their salaries beneath a brand new regulation geared toward combatting gender-based inequity. Employers — together with personal firms, governments and colleges — should not ask about wage histories and should specify a wage vary for potential employees beneath the brand new regulation, or face administrative penalties and fines of as much as $5,000 from the state labor commissioner.
DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
Tens of 1000’s of drivers have their licenses suspended yearly in Nevada, most as a result of they don’t pay site visitors tickets. Courts can now not droop the driving force’s licenses of people that don’t pay charges, fines or site visitors tickets beneath $5,000 beneath a brand new regulation. Democrats in help of the regulation mentioned license suspensions disproportionately affected low revenue residents. Advocates mentioned license suspensions usually exacerbated issues, making it harder to keep up jobs and resulting in mounting charges together with one required to reinstate suspended licenses.
The Division of Motor Automobiles will begin sending postcards to drivers deemed protected who’re eligible to have their licenses robotically reinstated beneath the brand new regulation, whether or not they will pay their fines and costs or not.
Sam Metz is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.