Marijuana becomes legal in Nevada as new pot laws kick in

Marijuana becomes legal in Nevada as new pot laws kick in
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Public support for marijuana has reached record highs, and the movement to legalize marijuana scored several victories with new state laws enacted July 1. 

Nevada on Saturday became the fifth state to legalize pot for recreational purposes, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Adults, age 21 and older, with a valid ID can now purchase up to an ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce in marijuana-infused edibles in select dispensaries.  

Other states have taken steps toward issuing laws that lay the groundwork for medicinal uses of marijuana. Florida became the latest state to legalize marijuana for medical use after voters ratified a constitutional amendment in November. The law technically took effect in January, but regulatory requirements have only just gone on the books. 

Floridians can use medical marijuana as long as it is consumed or vaped, not smoked.

Lawmakers have finally set in place rules that determine how patients can qualify for and receive the drug. Other major provisions to the legislation have set the legal framework for the constitutional amendment. 

Marijuana products can be sold to Florida residents as edibles, vaping oils, sprays or tinctures, and patients may receive an order for three 70-day supplies before having to visit a doctor again to get re-examined. 

Other provisions eliminate the 90-day waiting period before a Florida physician can prescribe medical marijuana to a patient. 

In other states, like South Carolina, marijuana is still illegal for both medicinal and recreational use, but its close cousin, hemp, can be grown for industrial and research purposes.

The state legislature passed the bill classifying hemp as an agricultural crop in May, but the new permitting process granting access to select farmers is now in place. 

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture will begin issuing permits enabling prospective farmers to grow hemp within legal limits. The state’s pilot program allows for 20 acres of hemp-growing in the first year and allows for double that in the second and third years. 

In Virginia, new legislation will reduce the penalties for those convicted of a first-time marijuana possession. Those caught in possession of pot can now avoid an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension. Rather than having a suspended license for half a year, a bipartisan bill opts for more community service requirements.