Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Recently legalized in Washington and Colorado, Nevada currently only allows its use for authorized medicinal purposes, and does not allow either the possession or use of marijuana otherwise. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the penalties associated with the possession and sale of marijuana in Nevada.
Possession of Marijuana
In order to be charged for possession of marijuana under Nevada State law, one’s possession must be “knowing and intentional”. For instance, if you are caught by a police officer that sees you smoking marijuana, you know that you were smoking marijuana. However, if the same police officer pulls over your vehicle and, upon searching, finds marijuana under one of the seats, the officer cannot know if it belongs to you or someone else in the car.
Penalties for Possession
If you have been found guilty of possession of an amount of one ounce or less, sentencing is dependent on the number of previous offenses.
For your first offense, it is considered a misdemeanor. You will face fines as high as $600 or could be assigned to complete a drug rehabilitative treatment program.
The second offense is also a misdemeanor, with the fine reaching up to $1,000. This can also include assignment to a drug rehabilitative treatment program.
With the third offense, it is now considered a gross misdemeanor and can come with a fine up to $2,000. The sentence can also include up to a year in county jail.
For the fourth offense and any others after, the possession of marijuana becomes a felony. The potential jail sentence is one to four years, and fines can be as high as $5,000.
Selling marijuana is also illegal in the state of Nevada. For the police to prove that you intended to sell marijuana, and were not merely in possession of the drug, there are several factors in play. If you are seen by police exchanging marijuana for money, possess an amount that is much greater than one would have for personal use, package the marijuana in separate, measured bags and/or have a lot of cash on your person, you may be charge with intent to sell marijuana.
Penalties for Selling Marijuana
If you have been found guilty of selling marijuana, sentencing is based on the number of previous offenses.
For your first offense, you could face one to four years in prison, along with a fine reaching up to $5,000. The court can grant either probation or a suspended sentence for first time offenders.
The second offense carries one to five years in prison, and the fine can be as high as $10,000. In addition, the court cannot grant probation or suspend the sentence.
For the third and all following offenses, the sentence is three to fifteen years in prison, along with a fine as high as $20,000.