On November 8, 2016, Nevada’s Question 2, which allows the legal recreational use of marijuana for all persons age 21 and over, passed with 54% of the votes. With Nevada marijuana legalization, what will happen now?
Adults in Nevada will no longer be in violation of state laws. Those of age may possess and consume one ounce or less of marijuana.
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Residents who live greater than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary are allowed to cultivate marijuana for personal use.
Operating a motor vehicle while impaired, providing marijuana to those under 21 years of age, or smoking in a public place will all still be punishable as deemed by current drug possession laws.
Things to Consider About Nevada Marijuana Legalization
Much will change as officials implement legal marijuana into Nevada’s culture. Establishments who receive a license to sell marijuana will be restricted to registered wholesale liquor dealers for the first 18 months.
Applications for cultivators and producers will be limited to those already established with a medical marijuana license during that same term.
Now That Nevada Question 2 Was Supported By Voters When Will Legalization Begin?
While the passage of Question 2 makes recreational use of marijuana legal beginning January 1, 2017, users will have to wait a bit longer to buy marijuana in stores and dispensaries. The first applications to sell marijuana are expected to be processed in a six to nine month time period.
The state technically has up to one year to complete the process. Overall, it will be late summer or fall of 2017 before the first shops begin carrying recreational marijuana for retail sale.
Can I Still Be Prosecuted for Marijuana in a State Where It’s Legalized
Prosecution for marijuana possession and consumption in any state that has legalized usage still exists. The federal government can still prosecute users.
However, due to prioritization of resources, prosecution from the federal government is highly unlikely.
Federal officials are primarily concerned with keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors and criminal groups, maintaining roadways by preventing impaired driving and preventing acts of violence associated in one way or another with marijuana use or trafficking.
Federal officials also wish to ensure that legal statewide marijuana cultivation, possession and usage remains within the state and does not cross state lines.
Most states that have legalized recreational marijuana have incorporated aspects to cover these concerns in their state laws. Hence, federal officials do not seem concerned with prosecuting individuals who abide by state laws but technically are in violation of federal marijuana laws.
If I’m Visiting Nevada, Would I Need to be a Resident to Possess Marijuana?
Like other states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, Nevada does not intend to limit the right to purchase, possess and consume marijuana solely to residents of the state.
The amount of marijuana a visitor may possess at one time may be more restricted. Consequently, they will be treated in the same manner as state residents.
Nevada’s medical marijuana industry has already attracted a significant amount of tourism and recreational use is certain to increase the traffic further.
Can My Employer Still Fire Me if I Test Positive for Marijuana Use?
In short, yes. Employers will still retain their right to fire individuals who have tested positive for marijuana use. Local law enforcement officers have an obligation to ensure marijuana usage does not impair drivers.
In a similar manner, employers are required to maintain safe working facilities where workers are not impaired by marijuana, alcohol or other drugs.
With Nevada marijuana legalization, issues will arise. There’s no question of that. How the state of Nevada handles the sale and use of Marijuana will be determined in the months ahead.