It is now legal in Nevada for adults 21 and over to possess up to 1 oz. of marijuana, but just in private residences. (In Las Vegas, adults 21 and over will soon be able to smoke legally in licensed social use venues.) And the only places marijuana can be lawfully sold is in licensed dispensaries...
Despite Las Vegas's reputation as "Sin City," Clark County still imposes harsh punishments for consuming marijuana unlawfully or selling it on the black market:
- Use: Recreational users face a $600 misdemeanor fine for smoking or consuming pot in public. It is illegal to use pot in hotel rooms, casinos, bars, parks, schools, dorms, the office, public transportation, and anywhere else that is not a private home. (In Las Vegas, smoking in licensed social use venues is legal.)
- Possession: A first-time offense of possessing more than 1 oz. of marijuana (or more than 12 marijuana plants) is a category E felony, which usually carries probation.
- DUI: Driving under the influence of pot is punished like drunk driving. A first offense is typically a misdemeanor, and jail can usually be avoided as long as the defendant pays a fine and completes other sentencing terms.
- Cultivation: A first-time offense of growing marijuana carries a $600 misdemeanor fine. But people who live more than 25 miles away from a licensed dispensary may grow up to 6 plants each (12 maximum per household).
- Possession for sale: A first-time offense of possessing marijuana for the purpose of selling it is a category D felony, carrying up to 4 years in Nevada State Prison.
- Selling: A first-time offense of selling (or offering to sell) marijuana is a category B felony, carrying up to 6 years in prison.
- Trafficking: Possessing, cultivating, or selling 50 lbs. or more of pot is prosecuted as trafficking, which carries 1 year to life in prison depending on the amount in involved.
On this page our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys provide a brief overview of Nevada marijuana laws with links to our in-depth articles on legal definitions, penalties, and defense strategies. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. Possession and use
- 2. Growing and cultivation
- 3. Sale and distribution
- 4. Driving under the influence
For comprehensive information on medical pot laws, visit our page on the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program.
Adults 21 and older may possess up to one ounce (1 oz.) of pot for personal use. But it is still illegal to consume pot anywhere outside a private residence. In Las Vegas, pot use is legal in licensed social use venues.
Just some of the places where using pot is illegal include hotel rooms, casinos, schools and universities, dorm rooms, common areas in apartment buildings, offices buildings, restaurants, bars, stadiums, public restrooms, and federal property.
Smoking weed in public carries a $600 fine. And possessing more than 1 oz. of pot is a felony carrying up to 4 years in prison. But it may be possible to get probation instead of incarceration for just a first or second conviction of pot possession.
- Learn more about marijuana possession laws (NRS 453.336)
- Learn about how Nevada law defines marijuana (NRS 453.096)
Cultivating recreational weed is illegal unless the person lives more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary. People who do live more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary may legally grow up to 6 plants. No household may have more than 12 plants total.
Growing more than the 12-plant maximum is a felony, but it usually possible to get probation instead of jail. And a first-time offense of growing weed while living within 25 miles of a licensed dispensary carries a $600 misdemeanor fine.
- Learn more about marijuana cultivation laws (NRS 453.3393)
Only licensed dispensaries may lawfully sell and distribute pot. Possessing pot with the intent to sell it on the black market carries up to 4 years in prison for a first-time offense. And the act of selling pot illegally carries up to 6 years in prison for a first-time offense. But it may be possible to get the charge reduced or dismissed through a plea bargain.
- Learn more about marijuana possession for sale laws (NRS 453.337)
- Learn more about selling marijuana laws (NRS 453.321)
Selling or merely possessing 50 lbs. or more of weed is automatically prosecuted as trafficking. Depending on the amount of pot in the case, prison sentences range from 1 year to life.
- Learn more about trafficking marijuana laws (NRS 453.339)
Nevada law prohibits not only drunk driving but also drugged driving. Even if a driver is operating the car safely, he/she can still face a DUI for having at least 2 nanograms per ml. of marijuana in his/her blood.
A first-time conviction of DUI of marijuana typically carries a fine, DUI school, a victim impact panel, and a three-month driver's license suspension.
It is okay to drive with a 1 oz. or less of weed in the vehicle as long as it is out of view, such as the trunk or glove compartment.
- Learn more about driving under the influence of marijuana (DUID)
Arrested? Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...
Pot is arguably less unhealthy and addictive than such legal substances as beer and cigarettes. Nevertheless, weed remains prohibited under federal law and largely criminal under Nevada law as well.
Furthermore, any immigrant who is convicted of a pot crime (other than possessing 30 grams or less) may be deported. Learn more about the criminal defense of aliens.
If you are in need of criminal defense legal representation in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas marijuana attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to schedule a free consultation.
¿Habla español? Más información acerca de las leyes de marihuana.
Arrested in California? Go to our article on California pot laws.
Arrested in Colorado? Go to our article on Colorado pot laws.