Countdown to Marijuana

The Elko Daily Free Press is counting down the days until marijuana is legal in Nevada by answering questions concerning the law.

Q: Will people continue to be prosecuted for small amounts of marijuana possession until Jan. 1?

A: It depends on where the person is arrested in the state. Elko County law enforcement will continue to prosecute all marijuana laws through the end of the year, while prosecutors in Clark County have stopped charging adults with possession of less than an ounce.

Despite what prosecutors are doing in the southern part of the state, Elko County District Attorney Tyler Ingram said his office will continue to prosecute marijuana possession cases. He sent an email to local law enforcement on the subject and said it was “important to remember” the law isn’t in effect until the beginning of 2017.

“I am not aware of any provision in the law which gives me the ability to pick and choose which laws I am going to enforce and which laws I am not going to enforce – and that is so for good reason, I suspect,” he said. “With that said, this office will continue to prosecute cases which occur before January 1, 2017, in accordance with current law which makes possession of any amount of marijuana illegal without a valid medical marijuana card.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Tuesday his office is suspending cases in progress and won’t file new charges against people accused of having less than an ounce of pot. The city attorney has adopted a similar stance.

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Clark County police, though, said they’ll keep enforcing current law until the change is effective next year.

Las Vegas police have arrested more than 175 people accused possessing less than an ounce of pot so far this year. They say most of those came along with other charges.

Current punishments for pot possession range from a $600 fine to prison time for repeat offenders.

Anyone with questions about marijuana becoming legal should email news@elkodaily.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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