Tick Segerblom: The Senator Who Mari-wannas Weed Tourism


Grace Wang

From an outsider’s point of view, Las Vegas is all sin; it’s gambling, casinos, and bright lights alluring you to dark place. In short, the whole persona of Las Vegas to outsiders is represented by its slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” One man who wishes to capitalize upon this sinful perception of Las Vegas is Richard ‘Tick’ Segerblom, the Nevada state senator who mari-wannas weed tourism.

“What we do is we sell sex, we sell sin,” Tick reasons. “We make things sound very exotic. So that’s how we got gambling and that is how we’ve got everything we have.”

Tick’s looking to add another exotic factor to the city of Las Vegas, in hopes that it will boost tourism dramatically – a vision of people from over the world flocking to Las Vegas, the only place in the world where you can see the enchanting lights of the Strip, gamble, watch some of the best performances and shows around, and get higher than the Stratosphere at the same time.

However, there’s huge problem standing in his way: casinos are adamantly against the usage of marijuana within their premises.

Although allowing marijuana on their premises may be enticing to casino owners looking for more business, the Gaming Board Control has prohibited gaming officials in Nevada from doing so, as cannabis is still illegal under federal law. Segerblom, however, doesn’t see the purpose of this ban, arguing that marijuana is used in casinos and hotels anyways.

“They are doing it in the hotel rooms, they are doing it on the casino floor, they are doing it in restaurants, bars,” he says, describing tourists’ disregard for marijuana regulations. “Very few people actually do marijuana with some kind of smoke. There are vapes, there are edibles, there are all kinds of ways. It is going on and it has been going on for years.”

As casinos uphold their bans on the usage of cannabis on their properties, Tick remains relentless in his pursuit of his vision of Las Vegas being a focal point for weed tourism.

“It is really important that we offer people who come here a place to use marijuana, because right now, it is illegal to use it other than in your house,” he says. “It could be a social club. It could be a bar, it could be a street – like a little Amsterdam street. It could be a concert, it could be a park, it could be a one-time event like Electric Daisy Carnival.”

Tick, with his eyes on the future, states that creating a public space for weed to be used legally in Las Vegas and allowing cannabis usage in hotels may take a few years to adopt. But whether you’re for the integration of weed into Las Vegas’ tourism industry or not, we can all agree that Tick Segerblom has set some high expectations for Las Vegas’ weed tourism industry.