The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has repeatedly found that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. While Nevada legalized medical marijuana for people with a limited number of approved conditions, many others are arrested every single day in the Las Vegas area for possession of small amounts of cannabis.
While arrests involving an ounce or less of marijuana are often deemed “simple possession” charges, these cases are rarely easy for alleged offenders to resolve. First-time convictions can result in steep fines and mandatory drug treatment, but subsequent violations may also lead to possible incarceration.
Have you been arrested in Nevada for illegal possession of one ounce or less of cannabis? It will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Jaeger of The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger serves Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and several other areas in and around Clark County. You can receive a review of your case when you call (702) 816-3888 or fill out an online contact form today to set up a free consultation.
Marijuana is defined under Nevada Revised Statute 453.096 as:
The term marijuana does not include the mature stems of the plant, fiber produced from the stems, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the mature stems (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination.
Possession may be defined a number of different ways. Actual possession involves cannabis that is found on a person and in that person’s physical custody, such as marijuana in the person’s hands, pockets, or purse.
Constructive possession of cannabis involves person having legal possession of the property in which marijuana was found although that person did not have physical custody of the cannabis. Alleged offenders may be charged with constructive possession of marijuana when cannabis is found in lockers or safes they own or the trunks or glove compartments of their automobiles.
Finally, joint possession involves two or more people who share control or ownership of marijuana. Under joint possession, a person could face marijuana possession charges for allowing the other person to store cannabis in their shared space, even if that person did not use the marijuana.
The consequences for simple possession of pot increase for people who have been previously convicted of this crime. Under Nevada Revised Statute 453.336, penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana include:
State law does provide exceptions for people who obtained cannabis with their Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Cardholder Registry identification card. Patients with approved conditions are legally able to possess up to one ounce of usable marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Patient Cardholder Registry — If you believe that you could be eligible to participate in Nevada’s medical marijuana program and thus legally possess one ounce of less of cannabis, you should visit this website to learn how to acquire an identification card. On the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) website, you can learn more about how the patient registry works, which health conditions qualify for medical use of marijuana, and where to find dispensaries. You can also find recent proposed regulation changes and answers to frequently asked questions.
Nevada | Marijuana Anonymous (MA) — MA identifies itself as “a fellowship of men and women who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.” You can search for in-person meetings in the Las Vegas area, or the organization also has phone and online meetings. The website also has answers to several frequently asked questions
If you were arrested for possession of ounce or less of marijuana in Nevada, you should immediately seek legal representation. The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger represents clients accused of all kinds of marijuana crimes in the greater Las Vegas area.
As the co-author of Westlaw's Courtroom Handbook of Nevada Evidence, Jeffrey Jaeger is a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who has a thorough knowledge of the rules governing evidence in criminal cases. He can provide a full evaluation of your case as soon as you call (702) 816-3888 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest legal news in the Silver State. Las Vegas attorney Jeffrey Jaeger discusses important developments in Nevada Appellate Courts.