From January 1, Nevada became the seventh U.S. state to decriminalize the usage of cannabis, after Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.
In the Election Day back in November, Nevadans approved by a nine percent margin the legalization of marijuana possession and consumption for citizens above 21 years old. This approval came despite the $3.5 million campaign from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, which sought to suspend the legislation. This new law allows any citizen who did not participate in the medical cannabis state program to possess over one ounce of marijuana or up to 3 ounces of marijuana concentrates.
Since 2017, it’s also legal to sell any paraphernalia with cannabis-related themes as well as the gifting of small amounts of the substance without any legal consequences. The use of the plant in public spaces remains illegal. The law also implies the regulation regarding cannabis commercialization, in which it is established a 15 percent tax rate. This regulation doesn’t become valid until next year.
Not everybody is on board with the law
Marijuana legalization in Nevada has brought up a series of public figures that are against the legislation. Jimmy Stracner, the spokesman for the opposing PAC Protecting Nevada’s Children, has shown his concern regarding how would kids from Nevada be affected because of this new law.
“Protecting Nevada’s Children would like to thank all of its supporters for a hard-fought campaign,” Stracner said, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Even though the voters have spoken and recreational marijuana will now become legal in our state, we hope the 2017 Nevada Legislature will pass regulations that will protect our children.”
Also, the Democrat Senator for the state of Nevada, Tick Segerblom, is worried about the black market proliferation in the upcoming months, because of selling regulations not being ready until 2018.
Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal
The law enforcement officers from the state of Nevada have warned citizens that driving shortly after consuming cannabis is still illegal, despite that the recreational use of the drug is now decriminalized.
According to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk, any driver that is reported to have consumed cannabis while driving is going to be sent to jail, as “driving high” is considered impaired driving as it represents a danger for the person and the other drivers.
The local police department has been trained to recognize when a person is under the influence of alcohol or cannabis to avoid any incidents. Buratczuk recommends Nevadans to either find a designated driver or to take a cab to prevent a possible night in jail.
Nevada's new marijuana law takes effect Jan. 1st – persons over 21 can possess up to 1 oz. It's important to remember what is/isn't legal. pic.twitter.com/6WGQDegnO9
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) December 29, 2016