Article IV Section 38 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada states:

Use of plant of genus Cannabis for medical purposes.

1.  The legislature shall provide by law for:

(a) The use by a patient, upon the advice of his physician, of a plant of the genus Cannabis for the treatment or alleviation of cancer, glaucoma, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; severe, persistent nausea of cachexia resulting from these or other chronic or debilitating medical conditions; epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizure; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscular spasticity; or other conditions approved pursuant to law for such treatment.

(b) Restriction of the medical use of the plant by a minor to require diagnosis and written authorization by a physician, parental consent, and parental control of the acquisition and use of the plant.

(c) Protection of the plant and property related to its use from forfeiture except upon conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere for possession or use not authorized by or pursuant to this section.

(d)  A registry of patients, and their attendants, who are authorized to use the plant for a medical purpose, to which law enforcement officers may resort to verify a claim of authorization and which is otherwise confidential.

(e) Authorization of appropriate methods for supply of the plant to patients authorized to use it.

2.  This section does not:

(a) Authorize the use or possession of the plant for a purpose other than medical or use for a medical purpose in public.

(b)  Require reimbursement by an insurer for medical use of the plant or accommodation of medical use in a place of employment.

Nev. Const. Art IV §  38 . Accordingly, Nevada residents who suffer from certain “chronic or debilitating medical conditions” are allowed to possess marijuana under state law.  Once an individual is granted permission to possess marijuana for medical purposes they will be issued a medical marijuana “Nevada Registry Identification Card”, commonly referred to simply as your “card”. Under Nevada Statute NRS 453A.140 the card is defined as, “a document issued by the State of Nevada or its designee that identifies: A person who is exempt from state prosecution for engaging in the medical use of marijuana; or the designated primary caregiver, if any, of a person described in subsection 1.”

What Medical Conditions Qualify?

Under Nevada Revised Statute 453A.050 an individual must suffer from a “Chronic or Debilitating Medical Condition” which is defined as:

1.  Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS);

2.  Cancer;

3.  Glaucoma;

4.  A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following:

(a)   Cachexia;

(b) Persistent muscle spasms, including, without limitation, spasms caused by multiple sclerosis;

(c)   Seizures, including, without limitation, seizures caused by epilepsy;

(d)  Severe nausea; or

(e)   Severe pain; or

5.  Any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that is:

(a) Classified as a chronic or debilitating medical condition by regulation of the Division; or

(b)  Approved as a chronic or debilitating medical condition pursuant to a petition submitted in accordance with NRS 453A.710.

Under Nevada Revised Statute 453A.710, an individual may file a petition to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services requesting that a particular disease or condition be included among the qualifying diseases and conditions.

How Does an Individual Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

The state requires all patients wishing to use and possess marijuana for medical purposes to submit an application to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

An applicant must Pay $50 fee (NRS 453A.740 sets limits for fees) The application packet must contain the provisions specified by NRS 453A.210 and include:

• Valid documentation from attending physician stating:

• Patient diagnosed with chronic or debilitating medical condition

• Medical use of marijuana may mitigate symptoms or effects

•  Physician has explained possible risks and benefits

•  Name, address, phone number, social security number, and date of birth

•  Proof of residency

•  Name, address and phone number of person’s attending physician

•  Caregiver if person chooses to delegate at time of application

Once the application is submitted The Department of Health and Human Services will conduct a background check to determine if the applicant has ever been convicted of selling a controlled substance. The Department will also check the status of the medical provider who recommended the applicant for the program. There are several medical caregivers available in Nevada who can assist patients with their application. Once the application is approved the identification card is sent to the DMV to be issued to the successful applicant.

The Health and Wellness Center in Las Vegas can assist an individual in obtaining a medical marijuana card.

What can a holder of a medical marijuana card do without being prosecuted by the State of Nevada?

This is a critical question for holders of medical marijuana cards in Nevada, in essence these are the acts that a holder can do without going to jail. The acts permitted are defined in Chapter 453 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. According to Nevada Statute, a person who is a holder of a valid marijuana is exempt from criminal prosecution for the following acts:

(a)  Possession, delivery or production of marijuana;

(b) Possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia;

(c)  Aiding and abetting another in the possession, delivery or production of marijuana;

(d)  Aiding and abetting another in the possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia;

(e) Any combination of the acts described in paragraphs (a) to (d), inclusive; and Any other criminal offense in which the possession, delivery or production of marijuana or  the possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia is an element.

If you find yourself being prosecuted for marijuana possession, you might have a affirmative defense through NRS 453