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Countdown

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

Q: What legal penalties will remain for marijuana in Nevada after Jan. 1?

A: While people 21 and older will be able to possess an ounce of marijuana or up to one-eighth ounce of marijuana concentrate starting Jan. 1, that won’t mean everything regarding pot will be OK.

If someone distributes marijuana to a person younger than 21 he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The type of charge will be determined by the quantity given.

Marijuana users cannot smoke or consume the drug in a public place, such as parks, sidewalk, community center or on private property where it’s not allowed. They also can’t consume or smoke weed in a moving vehicle. If a person violates this he or she could be fined $600. People also aren’t allowed to smoke it in a moving vehicle.

Casinos and bars may allow cigarettes and alcohol, but marijuana won’t be permissible. Gaming and marijuana don’t mix, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. People won’t be able to smoke or consume edible marijuana in any casino or bar. Casinos are pushed to abide by federal laws and weed is still illegal under U.S. law. The penalty for consuming marijuana in a casino or bar would be a $600 fine.

Since a liquor license is at stake, bars are likely to stay away from legal weed, according to a Las Vegas Sun article. “State Sen. Tick Segerblom said he plans to address the issue in the 2017 Legislature, to make it easier for bars to allow marijuana smokers.”

While people can grow their own plants – up to six – they can’t grow it on property that doesn’t belong to them. This means renters and lessees must get permission from their landlords before they can start an indoor garden of weed. If they violate this law a first offense is a misdemeanor and comes with a possible $600 fine. A second offense remains a misdemeanor but the fine increases up to $1,000. A third offense is a gross misdemeanor and a fourth offense is a category E felony.

Underage people who falsely represent themselves as 21 or older to obtain marijuana are guilty of a misdemeanor. Underage people also may not enter or loiter on the premises of a marijuana establishment. If they do, they can be fined up to $500, unless they have a medical marijuana card.

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

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