Over the last couple of decades there has been a growing movement in the United States aimed at legalizing medical, and even recreational, marijuana. As of 2016, medical marijuana is legal, in some form or another, in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, several states have made the recreational use of marijuana legal. The State of Nebraska, however, is not one of those states. Therefore, if you have been charged with dealing marijuana in Nebraska, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced marijuana defense attorney right away.
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Nebraska?
Like many states, the State of Nebraska has long considered marijuana to be a “controlled substance.” This classification stems from the fact that the U.S. federal government, in the Controlled Substances Act, classified marijuana as a “Schedule I” controlled substance. A Schedule I controlled substance is defined as one that has no known medicinal value and a high risk of abuse and/or addiction. Despite being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, most states have since realized that marijuana really should not be classified right alongside other drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine. Nebraska’s controlled substance laws are found in Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-416, which states:
Except as authorized by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally: (a) To manufacture, distribute, deliver, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, deliver, or dispense a controlled substance; or (b) to create, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.
Fortunately, marijuana is treated differently within the statute than other, more serious, drugs. The relevant portions of the statute that apply to “dealing” marijuana are as follows:
Any person knowingly or intentionally possessing marijuana weighing more than one ounce but not more than one pound shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.
Any person knowingly or intentionally possessing marijuana weighing more than one pound shall be guilty of a Class IV felony.
What Are the Penalties for Dealing Marijuana in Nebraska?
A Class III misdemeanor in Nebraska carries up to three months in jail and up to a $500 fine while a Class IV felony carries up to two years in prison.
While the judicial penalties for marijuana related offenses may not seem too harsh, it is important to also consider the non-judicial penalties for any drug related offense, particularly if it involves dealing and/or is a felony. A conviction for dealing can disqualify you for federal assistance programs as well as for federal student aid for higher education. In addition, a felony conviction means you cannot vote, cannot purchase or carry a firearm, and are automatically disqualified for a number of employment opportunities.
How Can a Marijuana Defense Attorney Help You?
If you have been charged with dealing marijuana, it is in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska marijuana defense attorney as soon as possible. You may have a number of defenses available to you that could result in avoiding a conviction altogether. For example, the police may have conducted an illegal search and seizure that led to your arrest. Until you consult with an experienced attorney you don’t know what legal options you may have. Even if it appears that you cannot avoid a conviction, an experienced marijuana defense attorney might be able to negotiate a plea agreement that reduces the charges to which to plead guilty and/or leaves the option open to reduce your conviction after you complete your sentence. Just accepting a conviction for a felony without exploring your options is never a wise idea.
If you are facing charges for dealing marijuana in Nebraska, you may wish to consult with an experienced Nebraska marijuana defense lawyer right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced marijuana defense attorney.