As one of the hot button topics for states across the nation, the legalization of marijuana has been approved in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as in Washington D.C. Although Nevada has decriminalized cannabis for people over the age of 21, the Silver State has yet to legalize recreational marijuana usage. With a potential ballot initiative that could see legal pot in Nevada as early as 2016, here is a current look at the state of medicinal marijuana in Las Vegas.
What exactly does decriminalized mean?
In simple terms, the decriminalization of marijuana means that first time offenders that possess a small amount of cannabis for personal use will likely see no jail time. Often treated like a minor traffic violation, the decriminalization of cannabis is intended to let police officers focus more attention on drug distributors and users of harder drugs such as methamphetamine or cocaine.
For Nevada residents, the maximum fine for a first time offender caught with one ounce or less of marijuana is $600. This crime is considered a misdemeanor offense and carries no jail time. Second time offenders can expect a maximum fine of $1,000 and no jail time, since it is still considered a misdemeanor crime. Unfortunately for third time offenders, the charge is considered a gross misdemeanor, bringing about a maximum of one year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.
Medical marijuana in Nevada
In Nevada, medicinal marijuana has been legal to patients with a debilitating condition since 2000. This entitles medicinal marijuana patients in Nevada to possess up to 2.5 ounces and 12 plants of cannabis. Although the bill passed nearly 15 years ago, it wasn’t until 2013 that Nevada made access to medicinal marijuana safe and regulated.
So what does the future hold for the state of marijuana in Nevada? It appears likely that an initiative will be placed on the ballot in 2016 to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Southern Nevada. With a plan in place that would allow any Nevada resident over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce and six plants of cannabis, the landscape of drug crimes could be significantly changing in the coming months.
If you or someone you know is in need of a drug lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Brian J. Smith today at (702) 380-8248. Trust the top criminal defense attorney in the state to help you receive the justice you deserve.