Some states have already begun the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, but what will happen if Marijuana Becomes Legal In Nevada? Las Vegas DUI Attorney Ross Goodman, explains.
Difference between decriminalization and legalization
Currently, Nevada has decriminalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use, but what does this mean for defendants? Some people are confused if someone states that they support decriminalization, but not legalization. Here’s the definition.
Decriminalization does not mean the act is not a crime anymore, but it is simply not a priority for law enforcement. For most cases, this is only reserved for small quantities of marijuana used for personal use. Employers also cannot deny someone a job if they have used marijuana recently. However, sale and possession of large quantities of marijuana is still illegal. The reasoning behind this is that enforcing the illegality of marijuana is a waste of police and state resources as well as prison space, and the fact that drug programs are more effective in stopping them.
Legalization means the act is now legal and is not enforceable under criminal law anymore. Farms and shops can grow and sell marijuana without repercussions, and the government can now tax their revenue.
If someone was in imprisoned before marijuana was legalized, will they be released?
The most likely answer is no. They still broke the law during the time it was still illegal, and the law cannot be retroactively be affected barring extreme circumstances. However, pending cases of marijuana criminal charges will likely be dropped.
What will happen with marijuana DUI laws?
A lot of changes will happen with marijuana DUI laws, but it will be a complicated process. The chemical compound THC present in marijuana is measured to detect if a person has used marijuana recently, mainly through blood tests. However, the problem here is that it can take days, and even months, before all traces of THC has been eliminated from a person’s bloodstream, while alcohol only takes a few hours to do so. Most likely, the legal limit will be set at 5 nanograms per milliliter, which some states are already using.
This could be most problematic for marijuana users as they can still be arrested for DUI even if they have consumed them a few days ago, but not recently enough to affect their driving. Many marijuana users also say that smoking marijuana also has less of an effect on their driving ability compared to alcohol.
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