What You Should Know About Medical Marijuana in Nebraska
Marijuana is illegal in 16 states, including Nebraska.
Recent attempts to legalize medical marijuana have left many wondering, is medical marijuana legal in Nebraska?
Medical marijuana is still illegal in Nebraska.
However, several initiatives to change the law are in the works. If successful, these changes could allow patients to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Current Status of Medical Marijuana in Nebraska
The first possible source of change to Nebraska medical marijuana laws is legislative bill 110 (LB110). The bill would allow patients suffering from certain conditions to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The Nebraska Judiciary Committee approved LB110 on May 10, 2019. However, the Nebraska legislature did not vote on whether to pass LB110 before the 2019 legislative session ended.
However, even if the legislature did pass the bill, it is uncertain whether Governor Pete Ricketts would sign the bill into law. Governor Ricketts has voiced strong opposition to marijuana reform in the past.
The second source of change might come from an independent ballot measure. The ballot measure would propose a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana.
The measure comes from an independent committee, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana. If Nebraskan voters approved the ballot measure in 2020, the measure would legalize medical marijuana even if the legislature never approves a bill.
To add the measure to the 2020 ballot, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana needs 130,000 signatures in support of the measure. As of November 1, 2019, around 15,000 Nebraskans had signed the petition.
Penalties for Possessing Marijuana in Nebraska
Since marijuana remains illegal, those caught in possession of marijuana may face criminal penalties. The severity of the offense depends on the amount of marijuana in the person’s possession.
Penalties that might apply if you are caught with marijuana in Nebraska include:
First Offense: Possession of One Ounce or Less
Possession of one ounce of marijuana or less is an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $300. Nebraska does not impose jail sentences for possession of small amounts of marijuana, at least for a first offense. Instead, a judge may require the offender to complete a drug education course.
Second Offense: Possession of One Ounce or Less
A second conviction for possession of one ounce or less is a Class IV misdemeanor. The penalties for a second offense include a fine up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to five days.
Third Offense: Possession of One Ounce or Less
A third conviction for possession of 1 ounce or less is a Class IIIA misdemeanor. A third offense may result in a maximum fine of $500 and up to seven days in jail.
Possession of More Than One Ounce
Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana (but less than one pound) is a Class III misdemeanor. Penalties for a Class III misdemeanor include a maximum fine of $500 and up to three months in jail.
Possession of More Than One Pound
Possession of more than one pound of marijuana is a Class IV felony. Penalties can include a fine up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Possession of Hash Oil and Concentrates
Penalties for possession of hash oil, a concentrated derivative, are more severe. Possession of hash oil is a Class IV felony and may result in a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to five years in jail. Possessing hash oil with the intent to distribute is a Class III felony. Class III felonies are punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and between one year and 20 years in prison.
Note that the penalties listed here are those provided by Nebraska state law.
The penalties imposed may be more or less severe, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Contact an Experienced Marijuana Defense Lawyer at Petersen Criminal Law
Have you been arrested for possession of marijuana in Nebraska? You have legal rights. You may also have a legal defense. Contact a defense attorney immediately to discuss your rights and possible defenses.
Speak with an experienced marijuana defense attorney at Petersen Criminal Law today. At Petersen Criminal Law, we have over 15 years of experience in criminal defense. We have successfully defended hundreds of drug offense cases in Nebraska, and we work hard to get the best results for each of our clients.
We offer free, confidential consultations. During your consultation, we can discuss the charges, defenses, and possible outcomes that apply to your case. Contact us online or call our office at 402-509-8070.