If you want to smoke weed, you’d better know the laws

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Nevada is one of eight states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes allowing anyone to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, one/eighth ounce of a concentrate and paraphernalia associated with smoking marijuana. So with the recent legalization of marijuana, why are reports still coming in for people being arrested on marijuana related charges? Is it because they are unaware of the local/state laws?

It’s true the legislation isn’t quite set in stone about how to deal with the legal issues but there are a few that are very clear and adhering to them will keep you out of court.

You cannot cross the Nevada state line with any marijuana purchased from another state. Once you’ve crossed into the state, police are unable to ask you where you obtained the marijuana, provided you are within the legal limit of possession, but they can check you at the line.

You cannot legally transport marijuana on an airplane. Airports do fall under federal jurisdiction and as such still view marijuana as an illegal drug, although Nico Melendez, a TSA spokesman, was quoted as saying, “At the end of the day it has no impact on our operations. If we find it, we’ll let police know but it’s not something we’re in the business of searching for and not something we’re actively searching for.” It’s further reported that legal amounts of marijuana will pass through TSA security virtually undetected; but do you want to chance it?

Whether marijuana is legal or not, trafficking marijuana, in any amount, is illegal unless you are a licensed marijuana dispensary. It is also illegal to buy from an unlicensed dealer but again, once purchased, the police can’t ask where you got it.

The State of Nevada allows you to grow up to six plants per person or 12 per household if you live beyond 25 miles of a licensed facility, which is unlikely in Clark County unless you live in a very rural area.

You cannot consume marijuana in public or while driving. You can only possess the legal amount in a vehicle. The only place you are allowed to consume marijuana is on private property but don’t smoke and drive away from a friend’s house, you will get arrested for a DUI. Since there are no current devices on the market to measure the THC levels any detectable signs may get you that charge. If police have no reason to believe a marijuana user is too impaired to drive, they won’t go as far as arresting and taking someone in for a blood test; police will administer field sobriety tests and make a judgment call.

If you rent property, please check with your leasing agent/landlord or agency to find out if they approve of its use on their property; you may be in violation of your lease.

If you are a medical marijuana user and you get caught giving or selling your medical marijuana to any individual, you risk losing your card, but again, the don’t ask questions law applies if it’s already in someone else’s possession.

You cannot legally send any amount of marijuana through the mail, mail is federally regulated. Representatives from both FedEx and UPS also claim their companies will refuse to “knowingly” ship marijuana.

There is some good news for those with past marijuana convictions.

Nevadans convicted of marijuana crimes that are no longer deemed illegal would be eligible to have those crimes wiped off their criminal records, according to a bill introduced to an assembly committee in mid-March.

According to Assembly Bill 259 “As possessing and using one ounce or less of marijuana flower or one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana concentrates, like shatter, wax and carbon dioxide oil for recreational use is no longer a crime in Nevada, those convicted of using or possessing the now-legal amount in the past should not have to carry the burdens of their past marijuana-related convictions.”

Nevadans charged for possessing or using more than the legal limit, which went into law on Jan. 1, 2017, would not be eligible to have their convictions removed. AB 259 also does not cover those convicted of selling marijuana or transporting it over state lines, as that is still currently illegal in Nevada.

The state of Nevada also hopes to have some guidelines in place to begin allowing recreational sales as early as June. Initially recreational sales will only be granted to those who have a medical marijuana sales license in good standing.

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