With the passage of the medical marijuana laws, people tend to think it is “no big deal” if they are charged with possession or use of marijuana. This is far from the truth. While it is true that possession of a small amount of marijuana (1 ounce) will only result in a fine of up to $600, just 1 more ounce jumps to a maximum 4 year sentence and $5,000 fine.
Additionally, having a marijuana conviction on your record can affect employment and other opportunities. Do not treat this lightly. The need for quality legal counsel cannot be underestimated as the skill of your attorney is the most significant factor in the final outcome of your case. At Okabe & Haushalter, we are committed to defending your rights. Contact us now!
Depending on certain factors, such as the amount of marijuana found and your prior criminal history, your marijuana possession charges may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties you face can include fines up to $5,000 and up to 4 years in prison. If it is your first offense, you may be able to avoid prison time by being on probation and enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program. At Okabe & Haushalter, we understand the significant negative impact drug charges can have on your life; our goal is to provide you with aggressive legal representation that helps you avoid the consequences attendant to a conviction.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that synthetic marijuana was first detected in the United States in 2008. The drug is an artificially manufactured chemical that is purported to mimic the effects of THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis. The chemical is sprayed on plant matter and then smoked. It is, however, up to 10 times stronger than natural marijuana and it is known to cause unpredictable and often dangerous side effects. There were a total of 5,741 calls to poison control centers related to synthetic cannabinoids in 2011, a figure that is nearly twice what it was the year before. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, synthetic marijuana was the second most commonly used drug among American 12th graders last year, with 11.4% of seniors admitting to its use in a survey.
Until recently, synthetic marijuana was broadly available for legal purchase as a result of the fact that the drug was not yet included in the Federal Government’s Schedule of Controlled Substances. People could buy it under brand names such as Spice or K2, and they could find it through internet retailers and even in many gas stations and convenience stores. Now, however, nearly every single state in the country—with the exceptions of Washington, Vermont New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Nevada—has implemented its own ban on the drug. The U.S. Congress followed suit in the middle of last year, passing the Synthetic Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. With the enactment of this law, synthetic marijuana is now classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, making it one of the most tightly regulated types of drug.
Despite the fact that the Nevada legislature has not yet enacted a ban on synthetic marijuana, it is still possible to get in trouble with the law for manufacturing, selling, or possessing the drug in Las Vegas. For example, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recently teamed up with the DEA in “Operation Log Jam,” a nationwide crackdown in 109 cities, which resulted in dozens of arrests and millions of seized packets of synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and other drugs. Further, the Nevada Pharmacy Board has taken action to ban the precursor substances that are used in the manufacture of synthetic cannabinoids. It is only a matter of time before Nevada joins the vast majority of states in which synthetic marijuana is fully illegal.
Any drug crime in our state is taken very seriously—even that of simple marijuana possession. A marijuana conviction will remain on your criminal record indefinitely, possibly causing you future difficulty in finding gainful employment or buying a vehicle or home. If you are facing charges of possessing marijuana, it is in your best interest to contact a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We can provide you with strong legal representation that you can trust.
If you are facing marijuana charges, contact a Las Vegas drug crime lawyer at our firm.