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2028 LA Olympics to Be First Ever With Legal Cannabis

Published on July 31, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Downtown Cityscape Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles has reportedly reached a deal that will bring the 2028 Olympic Games to Southern California. While it will be the third Olympiad to be held in LA, it’s set to be the first—ever—to be held amid a legal adult-use cannabis market.

Los Angeles last hosted the games in 1984, more than a decade before voters helped California become the first US state to legalize medical marijuana. The city also hosted the 1932 Games, held during the days of alcohol prohibition.

While officials in LA had been working to bring the 2024 Games to the city, they reached an agreement with Olympic leaders to give LA the Summer Games in 2028 instead, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It’s not yet clear how hosting the games in a legal-cannabis jurisdiction may affect athletes or the public. Cannabis is legal in California for adults 21 and older, but some participating countries still impose harsh penalties for possession or use.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran are vehemently against cannabis and other substances. In Saudi Arabia, for example, one can be flogged for possessing cannabis in the country—or executed for distributing larger quantities. Some Asian countries also threaten the death penalty for drug crimes.

During the 1996 Olympics, held in Atlanta, not all the events took place in Georgia. Facilities in Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida were also used. If the 2028 Games look to nearby regions, cannabis consumers may still be in luck­—Nevada, the country’s newest legal, adult-use cannabis market—is right next door.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even have a Hyperloop by then.

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Gage Peake
Gage Peake
Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
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