Under the banner of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM), local advocates intend to qualify a pair of initiatives ahead of the November election next year. In total, they’ll need to gather about 175,000 valid signatures from voters across the state before the July 7, 2022 deadline. Sponsors of the initiatives, State Senators Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, filed drafts of the measures with the Nebraska Secretary of State in early September.
The NMM campaign is now recruiting volunteers from across the state. They are working to organize local teams and mobilize supporters to be part of the grassroots signature drive. If you live in Nebraska, learn more, get involved, and donate at Nebraska2022.com.
Earlier this year, state Sen.Wishart introduced LB 474 to establish a medical cannabis program through the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Despite a strong public push from medical cannabis patients, their families, and other allies, the bill came up two votes shortof the 33 needed to overcome a filibuster in the 49-member legislative body.
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 31 states that does 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 email@example.com. 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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