Nevada: Governor Signs Legislation Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties for Minors, Amending Per Se Traffic Safety Limits

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation into law easing marijuana possession penalties for minors and amending the state’s per se driving limits for THC.

Assembly Bill 158 revises first-time penalties for minors who possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce) to community service. It also requires courts to automatically seal records for offenders once they have completed the terms of their sentence.

The law takes effect on October 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 400 amends the state’s traffic safety statutes so that the operation of a motor vehicle with trace amounts of either THC or its metabolite is no longer a per se violation of law in certain circumstances. 

Under the state’s existing traffic safety laws, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of either THC or the 11-hyrdoxy-THC metabolites in one’s blood or urine, even absent any further evidence of psychomotor impairment. The revised measure eliminates the application of those limits in circumstances where the violation is punishable as a misdemeanor. As per an amendment added by the Senate, the limits remain in place in circumstances where the violation is punishable as a felony. 

NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano testified in favor of the measure when it was before the Assembly. NORML has consistently opposed the imposition of THC per se limits, opining that such thresholds are not evidence-based and that they may lead to the criminal prosecution of people who consumed cannabis several days previously but are no longer under its influence. 

The law takes effect on July 1, 2022.