By now, you are probably aware that Nevada is one of the ten states where marijuana and marijuana products have become legalized for adults over 21. But what does the law really say about this once illicit substance and how much trouble can you get in if you break the rules? By comparing the current laws and punishments relating to marijuana to those of a different drug, in this case, cocaine, hopefully we can better explain the legal status of this psychotropic plant.
Back in October, we went over all the rules when it comes to traveling with marijuana. If you haven’t already read those rules, you can check them out here. What we didn’t discuss was what happens if you break these rules.
You can still get arrested
If you are holding more than the legally allowed one ounce of marijuana on your person, or in your car, it is considered a felony. You will get charged with possession and can face one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines! A third or fourth offense for possession can lead to one to four years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. And keep in mind that marijuana possession convictions from other states still count towards your number of offenses.
While this penalty may seem harsh, the law exists to prevent people from trafficking drugs or abusing the system that, by many standards, is considered pretty lenient. With the large number of dispensaries in town, you really shouldn’t need more than an ounce at a time anyway.
But let’s compare this to another substance that is still illegal, cocaine. If you are caught in possession of cocaine (of any amount) it is also considered a felony and can get you one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Possession with the intent to sell can land the same penalties if it is a first-time conviction, but the penalties get much harsher with each repeated conviction.
If you have over on ounce of cocaine, you will be charged with Trafficking and can face one to five years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. So, the law is certainly harsher toward the possession of cocaine, but having too much marijuana can lead to similarly harsh punishments as well.
Smoking in Public
With Canada’s recent legalization of marijuana, many places treat weed the same as cigarettes and allow them to be smoked in public. This is NOT TRUE for Nevada. Smoking in public is considered a misdemeanor and can lead to a fine of $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail for a first offense. This also applies to smoking in a parked car, a business, or elsewhere. The only place the law allows individuals to consume marijuana is inside a private residence, as long as it is okay with the landlord or homeowner.
Going along with smoking in public, it is also illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. The legal driving limit for marijuana in Nevada is set at 2 nanograms per milliliter in the blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter in urine. While it is much harder to analyze the THC levels of a user accurately, most people agree that if you have smoked within the past hour, you are over the legal limit. Even a single hit of a joint or pipe can put you over the limit. The charges for a marijuana DUI are the exact same for an alcohol related offense, which have recently become harsher. (See our blog on the new DUI laws)
So, what does it all mean?
Well, having more marijuana than the legal limit can lead to steep fines and jail time. Smoking in public is still very much illegal, and driving while high is never allowed. While recreational use is certainly allowed your home or private residence, don’t forget to be careful outside of the house.
If you are caught with possession, smoking in public or a DUI, give your friends at Joey Gilbert Law a call at (775) 210-1501 and we can help to fight these charges! We are experts in DUIs and marijuana law and can help you keep your life moving forward!