Can I be arrested for paraphernalia possession in Nevada casinos?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Yes. It is a misdemeanor in Nevada under NRS 453.566 to possess drug paraphernalia in casinos (or any location). Penalties include:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

Housekeeping staff who find paraphernalia in hotel rooms might inform their bosses, who may then call the police. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that tourists not bring, buy, or use any drugs in casinos in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada.

Definition of drug paraphernalia in Nevada

Drug paraphernalia refers to any objects that are used for administering, making, storing, or otherwise using drugs. Examples include:

  • Isomerization devices;
  • Testing equipment;
  • Scales and balances;
  • Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose and lactose;
  • Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining marijuana;
  • Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons and mixing devices;
  • Capsules, balloons, envelopes and other containers; and
  • Objects used, intended for use, or designed for being used in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the human body, such as:
    • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads or punctured metal bowls;
    • Water pipes;
    • Smoking masks;
    • Roach clips, which are objects used to hold burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
    • Cocaine spoons and cocaine vials;
    • Carburetor pipes and carburetion tubes and devices;
    • Chamber pipes;
    • Electric pipes;
    • Air-driven pipes;
    • Chillums;
    • Bongs; and
    • Ice pipes or chillers.

Paraphernalia and Nevada marijuana laws

Under NRS 453.336, adults 21 and older in Nevada are now allowed to possess up to one (1) oz. of marijuana (or up to 1/8 ounce of cannabis concentrate) in a private residence. Marijuana possession in any location and of any amount is still illegal under federal law. But chances are the feds will not take the time and trouble to arrest and prosecute recreational users.

Since Nevada law now permits people to possess and use a small amount of pot recreationally at home, it is unlikely that police would arrest someone for keeping a bong or similar paraphernalia at home. Users are just advised to keep all the paraphernalia out of view (such as not visible through open windows) so as not to attract over-zealous police.

Nevada law makes it a misdemeanor to smoke or ingest marijuana in a public place, retail marijuana store, or a moving automobile. The penalty for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana is a $600 fine. Law enforcement usually issues a citation (similar to a traffic ticket) for using pot in public. Police typically reserve making arrests for suspected pot dealers or traffickers.

The penalty for possessing more than one ounce (but less than 50 pounds) of marijuana gets harsher with each successive offense. A first or second possession offense is a category E felony, and a third or subsequent offense is a category D felony. The maximum penalties include four years in Nevada State Prison and possibly $5,000 to $20,000 in fines.

Learn more about the Nevada crime of drug paraphernalia.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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