Cannabis has been gaining traction in the US as more states move towards the legalization of its use. Today, most of the states have already legalized medical cannabis, while several are now accepting recreational cannabis as well.
With cannabis growing in popularity, one of the biggest questions that arise among users revolves around the locations where they can legally consume their products. Unfortunately, since cannabis has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming it in public places is illegal.
Since cannabis in its raw form is a product of nature, to some users it is extremely enjoyable to consume it outdoors. Users, however, must be cautious with where exactly they choose to consume cannabis. In this article, we will discuss why users across the US are not allowed to consume cannabis in National Parks and why.
National Parks Are Federal Property
Did you know that 84 million acres of land across the US have been allotted to national parks? These parks are also among the most popular destinations for locals and tourists for various reasons. This entire land is federal property, which means rules and regulations executed by the federal law apply to National parks.
So, the short answer to whether you can consume cannabis in these parks is an astounding no!
Even if a national park resides in a state where cannabis is legal, the jurisdiction of state laws is overshadowed by the federal government the moment you set foot inside the park. So, for example, adult-use cannabis is allowed in California, but users are prohibited from consuming it in the Yosemite National Park.
Cannabis Consumption Is Prohibited in Public Anyway
Let’s assume for a moment that national parks fall under state jurisdiction; users will still be prohibited from consuming adult-use cannabis in them since public consumption is illegal in all states across the US. For instance, Nevada is one of the few states where recreational cannabis consumption is legal.
However, if you’re in Nevada and want to consume cannabis, you will have to go to private property to do so, due to the restrictions imposed by state law. Luckily for cannabis connoisseurs in Nevada, Planet 13, the best Las Vegas dispensary, will soon be opening a cannabis consumption lounge!
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is among the most distinguished parks across the country. This park is known for its natural beauty, peaking mountains, and the Great Basin. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists who want to admire the beautiful landscape filled with valleys, mountains, and canyons.
The Park also contains sheer wildlife, which adds another attraction to the park. While the serenity of this place may entice cannabis users to consume their favorite cannabis strains, doing so will violate state and federal laws.
However, you can always visit the largest cannabis entertainment complex – Planet 13 – in Nevada if you want to get your hands on top-grade wide-ranging cannabis.
The Great Basin National Park
Nevada is home to another serene national park – the Great Basin National Park. Visiting this park is often on the to-do list of travelers and locals alike, thanks to its over 77,000 acres of natural beauty. Most people visit this park to see the ancient bristlecone pines – the oldest non-colonial organisms on earth.
You will also find the popular Lake Mead here. Just like other national parks across the globe, the Great Basin National Park in Nevada is also federally governed, which means that consuming cannabis here (medical or recreational) is simply out of bounds.
Getting Caught Consuming Cannabis in National Parks
With parks spread across thousands of acres, it seems almost impossible to get caught consuming cannabis. The lawmakers understand that, which is why they have executed strict policies against those who get caught in the act.
According to Criminal Defense Attorney, Alex Freeburg, the federal government is far more equipped than states. Alex said in an interview that he has already caught six misdemeanors this year.
So, what happens when a user gets caught consuming cannabis in a national park?
- Law enforcement officers have the right to put you on probation and request urine samples for confirmation.
- Your right to access legal dispensaries may be revoked, particularly if your samples come positive.
- You may face charges that could last anywhere up to six months.
- The penalty varies from one park to another. While consumption in some parks may leave you with a $700 penalty, others could cost you around $200.
- In some extreme cases, violators may even face jail time.
If you are planning to visit a national park anywhere in the US, we strictly advise avoiding the consumption of cannabis as these parks are both public places and under federal jurisdiction.
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