Is Weed Legal in Nevada?
The answer to the question, “is weed legal in Nevada” is yes, and it has been since January 2017. The residents of Nevada voted in favor of Question 2 on the 2016 election ballot. Sales for cannabis began by July 2017. This, after medical marijuana legislation was passed between 1998 and 2000. However, it would not be until July 2015 when the first medical marijuana dispensary opened.
The Path to Marijuana Legalization in Nevada
Nevada, like many other states, underwent marijuana prohibition during the same time it underwent alcohol prohibition. During the first World War, marijuana use was limited, but not mainstream. After the war ended in 1918, and the Great Depression hit the nation, a wide sweeping prohibition came with it. By 1923, marijuana was prohibited in Nevada.
Marijuana reform wouldn’t begin until the end of the same century, when the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act was passed with a 59 percent vote in 1998. By 2000, it passed with 65 percent of the vote, with the second vote being required in order for a change to the state’s constitution to occur.
In the second year of the new century, Assembly Bill 453 would legalize medical marijuana in Nevada by June 2001, a bill that came into effect October 1 that year.
Decriminalizing Marijuana in Nevada
In that same year, Assembly Bill 453 also provided for lighter penalties for the possession of marijuana. For possession of recreational marijuana up to one ounce, the penalties were misdemeanor charges and a fine. More serious criminal charges would only occur on the third offense. Prior to this, it was a felony in Nevada to possess any marijuana.
Between 2002 and 2006, it would be impossible for the state to pass a full legalization of recreational marijuana. Every effort failed with less than 45 percent of the vote.
It wouldn’t be until 2016 when the Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, otherwise known as Question 2, would pass with 54 percent of the vote. By 2021, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Bill 341 into law that would provide for the existence of “consumption lounges” where residents and visitors could buy and consume cannabis on site.
Conditions for Medical Marijuana
Although it is easier to obtain cannabis and consume it in Nevada today, there is still a regulated medical marijuana program in the state. In order to be approved for the program, patients must qualify with a condition such as HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nausea, seizures, muscle spasms, Alzheimer’s, and a number of other conditions.
There are a number of other conditions for consumption, including the prevention of consumption in some facilities or public locations. It is also illegal to operate equipment such as water skis, surfboards, windsails, and motor vehicles while under the influence of cannabis. There are blood THC limits permitted in Nevada when driving, however the volume is low. Possessing a firearm while under the influence of marijuana is also illegal in Nevada.