Nevada began recreational cannabis sales in July of 2017 and one of the interesting facts about its passage is partly due to the verbiage written into the recreational bill. It was to regulate cannabis like alcohol. Now the verbiage is playing another role in Nevada cannabis in the same way the casinos control its gamblers who show signs of impairment from any substance.
The official way to acknowledge drug use by a casino patron is now referred to “incapacitated.” Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Dr. Tony Alamo amended the initial term, “intoxicated,” to rather reflect the effects of not only alcohol, but various other drugs as well. The current guidelines being used by Nevada casinos had already been in place in the nightclub industry. “It was making congruent from the changes we made to the nightclub regulations from a couple of years ago,” Dr. Alamo stated. “Intoxication implies the use of alcohol. We added the word incapacitated… because of the use of drugs. Society has changed.”
Nevada Gaming feels that even though the specific description of a patron’s state of mind may have changed, the duty of not allowing casino patrons to gamble and drink after being found incapacitated still hasn’t changed. “There is no guide to the subjective determination of whether someone is incapacitated and “common sense goes along way,” Alamo said.
Casino licensees will get defined understanding of how to properly identify and respond to any customer who appears to be incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. A proposed amendment to the state’s Regulation 5 on the operation of gaming establishments details that licensees can be disciplined if caught allowing a drug-incapacitated patron to gamble, or serving alcohol to drug-incapacitated individuals. The amendment will re-write a section of the regulation that outlines allowing patrons intoxicated by alcohol to play or be served. The amendment prohibits play or serving drinks to persons “who are visibly impaired by alcohol or any other drug” to participate in gaming activity. The proposal was spurred in part by the state’s legalization of recreational cannabis and addresses impairment by both legal and illegal drugs. Industry representatives had no objections to the inclusion of the new language.
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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