In the meantime, state Senator Anna Wishart introduced LB 474 in January to legalize medical cannabis through the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. You can read a summary of the legislation here. Sen. Wishart is also the lead sponsor of two bills that would reform Nebraska’s ballot initiative process,LB 475 and LR24CA. The changes are designed to prevent future citizen-initiated ballot measures from suffering the same fate as the 2020 medical cannabis initiative.
An organization of patient advocates, Nebraska Families for Medical Cannabis, is leading the charge to build grassroots support for Sen. Wishart’s medical cannabis legislation. You can support them by making a donation here.
Current marijuana laws in Nebraska
Possession is illegal in Nebraska. Possession of one ounce or less is an infraction, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $300, and the judge may order the offender to complete a drug education course. A second conviction for possession of one ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500, and the third and subsequent convictions for possession of one ounce or less are a misdemeanor and are punishable by a maximum sentence of seven days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.
Cultivation is not allowed. Cultivation penalties in Nebraska are based upon the total weight of the plants found.
There is no medical marijuana program or any other allowances for patients in Nebraska.
Decriminalization for first time possession
Nebraska is one of the 26 states that do not jail first-time offenders found in possession of a small amount of cannabis. First offense possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is a civil infraction punishable under Nebraska law by a $300 fine — and a possible drug education course — instead of jail time and is a citation as opposed to an arrest. Second offense possession of up to an ounce carries a $400 fine and up to five days in jail, and third offense possession is punishable by up to a week in jail and a fine of $500. Second and third offense possession are misdemeanors, but are only citable, and not arrestable, offenses.
However, according to the ACLU, African Americans in Nebraska are nearly five times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors, despite similar use rates.
Contact us: Let us know if you’d like to be involved in the fight for sensible marijuana policy in Nebraska by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know if you’re a medical professional, a seriously ill patient or loved one of a patient, or someone else with a personal connection to the issue.
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