Written by Guest Blogger:
Garrett T. Ogata, Esq.
3841 W. Charleston Blvd. Ste 205
Las Vegas, NV 89102
www.vegasdefenselaw.com

Nevada medical marijuana users do have protection when it comes to using their medicine in the state of Nevada.  However, just because you have a valid medical marijuana card does not mean you are protected from Nevada’s strict, some would say unfair, DUI prohibited substance law.

Nevada implements a per se DUI law, which presumes someone is under the influence of alcohol if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is at a certain level, most commonly a BAC of .08 or more. Nevada has taken this same approach to marijuana by enacting NRS 484C.110(3), Nevada’s Prohibited Substance statute.  Marijuana and marijuana metabolite, along with other controlled substance such as cocaine, heroin, meth & others, make the per se prohibited substance list.

The per se limits set forth in NRS484C.110(3) for marijuana and its metabolite are extremely low:
·       2 nanograms per milliliter of blood for Marijuana (THC); and
·       5 nanograms per milliliter of blood for Marijuana Metabolite.

For someone on medical marijuana, hitting these per se levels is not difficult and thus not difficult for prosecutors to charge you with a DUI even if you showed no signs of being under the influence.  That is why it is incredibly important to Know Your Rights and how to handle police stops.  Many people make the mistake of admitting to having a Medical Marijuana card and taking their medicine.  This applies to other medicines as well.  Some of the standard questions law enforcement ask people is regarding doctor’s care and visits, and if you are on any medication and when was the last time you medicated.  Law enforcement asks these types of questions to build probable cause against you and ultimately arrest you and subject you to a blood test.

Your Medical Marijuana card and the fact that your doctor prescribes marijuana for your symptoms is not a defense against a DUI.  Even if you are under the per se limits, prosecution can still use a lower amount to argue you were impaired by a controlled substance and incapable of safely operating or controlling your vehicle based on the totality of circumstances.

An important battle that is being overlooked by legislature, lobbyist, political parties and voters, is the per se limits set forth in Nevada’s Prohibited Substance statute.  It is time for everyone to take a hard scientific look at what levels of THC impair drivers and also remove the per se metabolite level that punishes patients with the non-impairing metabolite.  Be safe, know your rights and never driver under the influence.

To learn more about DUIs and Your Rights, download the free “Medical Marijuana User’s Guide” for Drivers.

 

As reported by a local news station, two separate individuals have suffered  terrible and traumatizing anal cavity searches at the hands of local law enforcement. Police officers applied for warrants after routine traffic stops to perform “anal cavity searches” and then transported the individuals to a medical facility. One man had 8 separate and invasive anal cavity searches performed. The other individual claims to have suffered a similar fate. For more information on these stories visit KOB4.

The United States Constitution protects our citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Also, law enforcement is prohibited from using excessive force against individuals. It would appear that forcing an individual to go through multiple unwanted anal cavity searches including a forced colonoscopy would be considered excessive force. If it is found to be by a jury or Court, these individuals will be entitled to compensation.

Unfortunately, some police officers utilize excessive force. Individuals who suffer at the hands of law enforcement are entitled to compensation and should speak up against such wrongdoing.
 

As explained on the Las Vegas Criminal Defense Blog, a New Mexico man had to endure multiple enemas, a colonoscopy, multiple anal probes and other medical examinations because law enforcement claims he “appeared to be clenching his buttocks” and that gave them probable cause to perform multiple anal cavity searches.

In this case, a judge did issue a search warrant finding that there was probable cause to perform an anal search. What is probable cause?

Probable cause is sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. (www.dictionary.law.com).

Probable cause is based on the set of circumstances surrounding the event. It must be determined that there were “sufficient” facts to believe a crime was being committed. The conclusions should be “reasonable.” Thus, the question must be asked: Is clenching your buttocks sufficient circumstances to permit multiple and invasive anal cavity searches?

According to the man’s attorney there was no probable cause and the appearance of squeezing one buttocks gives authorities carte blanche authority to seize and examine any citizen. Learn more about this particular case  here

Probable cause is meant to protect the rights of the citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. One would surely argue that eight separate anal cavity examinations is unreasonable. 

If you are asked  by an officer to perform a search of your person or your property, you CAN say no. Without your consent the officer must have probable cause to perform the search. If the officer searches you or your property without probable cause the search is invalid and you could be entitled to damages if you or your property were harmed. 

If you feel that the police searched you or your property without probable cause, contact Connor & Connor PLLC today.  The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to defend Nevadans facing criminal charges in either state or federal court. We serve clients from all socioeconomic levels of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and we are willing to negotiate  payment plans if necessary on a case by case basis.  Unlike some law firms, Connor & Connor Pllc is able to accept payment by credit or debit card.  All funds will be placed in our client trust account until earned by the attorney working the case.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 750-9139 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

Nevada’s residents have a constitutional right to use medicinal marijuana if they are prescribed the medicine by their doctor and obtain a state patient ID card. However, can a patient lose their job for using the medicine that is prescribed by his or her doctor?

Nevada’s current medical marijuana law does not require employers to make any accommodations for state licensed medical marijuana users. In other words, you CAN lose your job for using medical marijuana. Yes, you CAN lose your job even if you are a state card holder.

Under SB 374, the new medical marijuana law, an employer …

“must attempt to make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of an employee who engages in the medical use of marijuana if the employee holds a valid registry identification card, provided that such reasonable accommodation would not: (a) Pose a threat of harm or danger to persons or property or impose an undue hardship on the employer; or (b) Prohibit the employee from fulfilling any and all of his or her job responsibilities.”

This section of the bill takes effect on April 1, 2014. At that time an employer will need to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a medical marijuana patient with a valid registry card.

However, one thing to keep in mind is, Nevada is an at-will state. Therefore, an employer can terminate an employee at any time with or without cause. Therefore, the employer could terminate an employee without giving a reason. Most likely cases like these will end up in litigation to determine if the employer was required to make accommodations and to define what “reasonable accommodations are” but until April 1, 2014, no accommodations are required. And after, an employer could terminate the employee due to Nevada being an at will state.

So the cold hard truth is, most likely, yes a medical marijuana patient can lose his or her job for using his or her medicine.

If you have questions about Nevada’s Medical Marijuana laws, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc today.  The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are licensed to practice law before all Nevada state and federal courts. We are assisting individuals and groups interested in obtaining a medical marijuana facility license. If you are interested, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a consultation.   You may contact the firm through email at info@connorpllc.com or by phone at or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc. You can also follow the firm on twitter at https://twitter.com/Connor_pllc.