With the passage of Question 2 last November, recreational marijuana use is now legal in the state of Nevada. At this point, adults 21 and older can now legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. What else has changed under this new law?
Until now, not much actually. There is no legal way to buy recreational marijuana in Nevada until the state finishes regulations to govern how and buy whom it will be sold. Those regulations are being fast tracked in the state legislature, but estimates are that it will take 8-12 months for that process to be completed. It is still illegal to smoke marijuana in public. Employers may fire you for smoking pot. And most importantly, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.
The Nevada Highway Patrol has warned that it will continue to enforce laws currently on the books that prohibit driving with certain levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in their system. NRS 484C.110 specifies that 2 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood is the legal limit for driving in the state.
Since driving under the influence of marijuana has always been illegal in the state, troopers have been trained to spot the tell tail signs and symptoms of marijuana use. Field sobriety tests will be employed and the officer will make a determination based on driving behavior, and overall observations. If the officer determines that the driver is under the influence, the driver will be required to take a blood test.
NHP Trooper Jason Buratczuk states: “Those using marijuana cannot judge their own level of impairment and need to understand that any amount of consumption puts individuals at a greater risk of an impaired crash, injury and even death when behind the wheel.”
Nevada law does not currently differentiate penalties for marijuana-impaired driving from alcohol-impaired driving and you will be charged with a DUI, if your levels of THC are found in violation of the law.
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