Nevada Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Nevada, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453.336.) However, despite being a Schedule I drug, Nevada does allow medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. And while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Nevada.

To learn about Nevada's medical marijuana laws, see Nevada Medical Marijuana Laws.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Nevada, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Nevada.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana (including small amounts for personal use) in Nevada. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, and whether the offense was a first or subsequent violation. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453.337.)

  • Up to one ounce. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $600, participation in a drug treatment program, or both. A second offense carries a fine of up to $1,000, drug treatment, or both. A third offense carries a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both. And a fourth or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $5,000, between one and four years in prison, or both.
  • More than one ounce. Possessing more than one ounce is penalized as described in the following section on manufacture, sale, and trafficking.

Manufacture, Sale, and Trafficking

Manufacturing, possessing, or selling marijuana  in Nevada is illegal. It is also illegal to traffic marijuana into state. Violations are penalized according to the amount possessed, manufactured, sold, or brought into state; and whether the violation was a first or a subsequent offense. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 453.339 & 453.3345.)

  • Between one ounce and 100 pounds. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $20,000, between one and six years in prison, or both. A second offense carries a fine of up to $20,000, between two and ten years in prison, or both. And a third or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $20,000, between three and 15 years in prison, or both.
  • Between 100 and 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
  • Between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, between two and 20 years in prison, or both.
  • More than 10,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $200,000, between five years and life in prison, or both.
  • Sale to a minor. Penalties for a first offense a fine, between one and 20 years in prison, or both. A second offense carries a fine, life in prison, or both.
  • Sales within a school zone. Penalties are doubled for an offense that took place within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, youth center, video arcade, bus stop (during school hours); or while on a school bus.

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in Nevada to manufacture, advertise, sell, or use drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation, with harsher penalties for sales to a minor. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453.554.)

Possession and use

Using paraphernalia (or possessing it with the intent to do so) is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453.566.)

Manufacture and sale

 Selling paraphernalia (or manufacturing or possessing it with the intent to do so) is a felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, between one and four years in prison, or both. (Ne. Stat. Ann. § 28-442.) Selling paraphernalia to a minor is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000, one to five years in prison, or both. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 453.560 & 453.562.)

Advertising paraphernalia

It is illegal for someone to place an advertisement in any medium, when that person knows or should reasonably know that the advertisement’s purpose is to promote the sale of paraphernalia. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453.564.)

Nevada's Stamp Tax on Marijuana

A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions (such as the transfer of property) that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction (such as a deed). The federal government imposes stamp taxes on deeds, the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds, and on playing cards.

In Nevada, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into Nevada are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don’t pay the stamp tax. Those who are convicted for possession, you will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($100 for each gram or portion of a gram). (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 372A.070.)

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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