Cannabis in Nevada Article

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2016 Legalization results by county. Counties with a majority of "yes" votes in green and counties with a majority of "no" votes in red.

Cannabis in Nevada became legal for recreational use effective January 1, 2017, having been legalized by ballot initiative in 2016. Medical marijuana use was legalized by ballot initiative in 2000, and has been available to licensed individuals in the state since shortly after that date. Nevada also licenses growers and distributors, and citizens of Nevada are banned from growing their own cannabis unless they live more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary.


Prohibition (1923)

Nevada first banned cannabis in 1923, during a nationwide trend of states limiting the drug between 1911-1933. [1]

Medical marijuana (1998, 2000)

Nevada voters approved Question 9 – the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act – in 1998, with 59% of the vote. [2] It was approved again in 2000, with 65% of the vote. [3] Because the initiative was a constitutional amendment, it required approval in consecutive elections in order to become law. [4]

Failed recreational legalization (2002, 2006)

In 2002 "Question 9" went before the voters with a proposal to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis, but was soundly defeated at the polls. [5] Legalized cannabis appeared on the ballot again in 2006 as the Nevada Regulation of Marijuana Initiative, receiving 44% of the vote. [6]

Nevada Regulation of Marijuana Initiative

The Regulation of Marijuana Initiative, or Question 7 in Nevada, is an act voted on in the 2006 United States general election by registered Nevada state citizens. It unsuccessfully sought to amend the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) to allow for up to one ounce of marijuana to be purchased by individuals 21 years of age or older in a regulated, controlled, and state- taxed system.

The ballot measure was defeated, 56% against and 44% for. [7]

The initiative sought to amend NRS by inserting several sections legally defining terms such as "marijuana", "paraphernalia", and others, protect adults over the age of 21 from arrest or jail time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, maintain current underage marijuana penalties, and increase penalties for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any illegal substance, amongst a slew of other provisions. It would have gone into effect on November 26, 2006 if it had passed.[ citation needed]

Legalization (2016)

Question 2 was a 2016 Nevada voter initiative to legalize cannabis. The official title was "Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana". [8] The measure, which appeared on the November 8, 2016 ballot, sought to legalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. [9] [10] The initiative did not include provisions for regulation beyond taxation, such as licensing retailers. [11]

The initiative passed on election day, 54%–46%. [12] Possession and consumption by adults became legal on January 1, 2017. [13] [14]

Distribution and Regulation (2017)

On July 1, 2017 Nevada dispensaries began the sale of recreational marijuana. [15] The new law means anyone over the age of 21 that has a valid photo ID may purchase recreational marijuana in the state of Nevada.

See also


  1. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines (29 November 2012). The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Social History of Drugs. Orion Publishing Group. pp. 126–. ISBN  978-1-78022-542-5.
  2. ^ "Nevada Medical Marijuana Act, Question 9 (1998)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Nevada Medical Marijuana Act, Question 9 (2000)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "Medical Marijuana Initiatives Pass In Colorado and Nevada; Californians Pass Initiative To Keep Non-Violent Drug Offenders Out Of Jail". NORML. November 9, 2000. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Rudolph Joseph Gerber (2004). Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 117–. ISBN  978-0-275-97448-0.
  6. ^ Leslie L. Iversen (7 December 2007). The Science of Marijuana. Oxford University Press. pp. 213–. ISBN  978-0-19-988693-7.
  7. ^ "Ballot Questions: Marijuana Legalization Fails in Colorado, Nevada; Ohio Passes Comprehensive Smoking Ban". Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  8. ^ Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, Nevada Secretary of State, April 23, 2014, retrieved 2016-05-23
  9. ^ "Expert to speak on marijuana legalization in Fernley", Reno Gazette-Journal, May 20, 2016
  10. ^ Ken Ritter (March 16, 2015), Nevada marijuana legalization gets official OK for 2016 ballot, Associated Press – via The Cannabist
  11. ^ Joe Schoenmann (April 15, 2016), After November, What's Next For Recreational Marijuana In Nevada?, Nevada Public Radio/ KNPR
  12. ^ Law & Order (2016-11-09). "Several states just legalized recreational marijuana". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  13. ^ Question 2 Passed in Nevada. Now what?, Henderson, Nevada: Connor & Connor PLLC, November 11, 2016
  14. ^ Colton Lochhead (November 9, 2016), "What you should know about Nevada's new marijuana law", Las Vegas Review-Journal
  15. ^