7 Ways Marijuana Can Get You in Trouble With the Law in Las Vegas
Even though it is legal to buy marijuana in Las Vegas (as well as throughout the rest of Nevada), there still are quite a few ways that marijuana can get you in trouble with the law in Las Vegas. Knowing the rules ahead of time can prevent putting a real damper on your trip by inadvertently breaking the law.
#1. You must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older to buy, consume, or possess marijuana.
There are severe penalties for minors under twenty-one (21) who buy (or try to buy), possess, or consume marijuana. If you’re an adult, giving marijuana to someone under twenty-one (21) years old is a crime. If you give pot to a minor under eighteen (18) years old, it’s an even more serious crime.
#2. You can’t buy marijuana from just anyone.
Buying marijuana anywhere other than in a state-licensed dispensary is a crime. Street vendors can’t (legally) sell marijuana in Las Vegas.
There’s an important corollary about buying marijuana in Las Vegas: You can’t buy marijuana for your friends and have them pay you for it. That’s an illegal drug sale.
#3. You can only buy or possess a small amount of marijuana.
You are allowed to purchase and possess up to one (1) ounce of flower or one-eighth (1/8) ounce of concentrates. Carrying around more than that amount can get you arrested for illegal drug possession. You could be charged with a felony.
#4. You can't use or consume your marijuana in public (or anywhere that isn't private property).
You read that right. Consumption or use of marijuana is prohibited on all public property and areas, in vehicles, in bars and nightclubs, and even in your hotel room. The only place where it’s legal to use or consume marijuana is at a private residence or on other private property.
You need to be very careful when you use or consume the marijuana that you legally purchase in Las Vegas. If you get caught using or consuming marijuana somewhere other than on private property, you will face misdemeanor criminal charges. The fine for a first offense is six hundred dollars ($600). A conviction or guilty plea means you will have a drug arrest on your record.
#5. You can’t take your marijuana home (unless you live in Nevada).
Driving across state lines or taking marijuana on a plane (or even to the airport) is a federal offense. Even if you live in Nevada, you can’t stock up in Las Vegas and take your stash home, since you can only possess one ounce (or an eighth of an ounce of concentrate) legally.
#6. You can’t drive when you’re high.
Driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug (DUID) is a very serious criminal offense. DUID in Nevada is prosecuted the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. You can face prison time of two days to six months (or substantial community service), a fine of up to a thousand dollars ($1000), license suspension, and other consequences.
You can be arrested for DUID if your ability to operate a car safely is impaired (as determined by the law enforcement officer) or your blood contains two (2) or more nanograms per milliliter of marijuana or five (5) or more nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite.
#7. You can’t carry a gun when you’re high.
Being in physical possession of a firearm when you’re under the influence of marijuana is a crime. If you’re high, and you handle your gun in a way that endangers others, police can seize your firearm under Nevada law. A conviction on that charge likely would prevent you from purchasing a gun in the future. You can read more in our blog post: Firearms and Marijuana in Las Vegas Don’t Mix Well — in More Ways Than One.
One More Caution About Marijuana in Las Vegas: Be Sure You Know How Consuming Edibles Is Different From Smoking It
In Nevada, as in other states that have legalized the sale of marijuana, edibles are growing in popularity. Edibles are very popular in Las Vegas, especially because of the legal limitations on where you are allowed to use or consume marijuana.
Choosing edibles comes with risks if you are not familiar with that form of marijuana and have not used it before. The number of reported overdoses from edibles has increased significantly in recent years, due largely to consumers being unfamiliar with how edibles work.
The effects from smoking marijuana are noticeable within minutes. In significant contrast, the effects of edibles can take as long as one to three hours. That delay often leads users to consume more, thinking the drug isn’t working. When the effects finally do occur, they can be dramatic.
Edibles have been known to cause hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, and psychotic episodes, especially when consumed in a significant amount. The effects can be physical as well, including impaired motor ability and coordination and rapid heart rate.
If you decide to choose edibles when you buy marijuana in Las Vegas, be sure you understand ahead of time what to expect and how they work. Then you can safely enjoy your edibles as part of your Las Vegas experience.
If You Need a Las Vegas Marijuana Defense Attorney
It is relatively easy for an unwary visitor to inadvertently violate one of Nevada’s laws relating to marijuana purchase, possession, and use. If you are arrested in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County on marijuana or other drug charges, having knowledgeable and skillful legal counsel is essential. A drug conviction on your record can have far-reaching and long-range implications on your life, no matter where you live. Regardless of what charge you may be facing, The Gersten Law Firm is here to help. There is no charge for your initial consultation.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten has extensive experience defending Las Vegas visitors and residents facing federal and state criminal charges. If you’ve been arrested in Las Vegas or anywhere else in Clark County, contact Attorney Gersten to schedule a free consultation.