Over the last decade, much has changed in the United States with regard to the way the general public, and the law, view marijuana. Over the last half of the 20th century, marijuana was viewed as a serious drug and labeled as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. federal government. That viewpoint is changing, however, across the nation. As of 2017, 26 states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form or another. Three more states are set to join them in the near future after recently passing laws that legalize marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational use. In fact, seven of those states now allow the recreational use of marijuana for personal use. Nebraska, however, is not one of those states. In fact, as Omaha Criminal defense lawyer Tom Petersen stresses – marijuana remains completely illegal to possess, sell, grow, or transport in the State of Nebraska.
The Movement to Legalize Marijuana
Although it is often referred to as a movement to legalize marijuana, it is more accurately a movement to re-legalize the substance. AT the beginning of the 20th century, marijuana was perfectly legal across the country. The story of how marijuana eventually became public enemy number one is a long one. The important thing to know is that it has been viewed as a “gateway” drug by many over the last half of a century or so in the U.S. That viewpoint, however, is beginning to change, due in large part to the increasing body of evidence pointing to the medical benefits marijuana offers. Studies have consistently shown that marijuana may do everything from stimulate hunger in cancer patients who otherwise won’t eat to calming patients with anxiety and even controlling seizures. At this point, we may only have touched the surface of the medicinal uses for marijuana.
In addition, opponents of the legalization of marijuana are fighting an uphill battle with the argument that marijuana is a dangerous “gateway drug.” Although they have been trying to sell that argument for decades, the evidence of marijuana’s dangerous nature has yet to materialize nor has definitive proof that marijuana leads to the use of more serious drugs.
All of this has led to one state after another re-visiting the issue of marijuana’s legal status. As most Nebraska residents are already aware, Colorado has been a pioneer state in the legalization of marijuana. Not only is medical marijuana legal in Colorado, but it is also legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes in the State of Colorado.
Just a Reminder: Marijuana Remains Illegal in Nebraska
For those who live close to the Colorado border, it may be very tempting to hop over the border and take advantage of marijuana’s legal status in neighboring Colorado. It may be equally tempting to bring some back with you when you cross back into Nebraska. By the same token, Colorado residents who are now able to legally possess and use marijuana may intentionally, or unintentionally, cross over the Nebraska border with marijuana in their possession. Whether you are a Nebraska resident taking advantage of Colorado law or a Colorado resident forgetting that you are now in Nebraska, you need to remember that the possession of marijuana, in any form and for any reason, remains illegal in the State of Nebraska.
Whether by mistake or with intent, possessing marijuana in Nebraska is a criminal offense that can land you in jail. If convicted, you could face a lengthy prison term, a period of time on probation, and/or a hefty fine. If you do make the mistake of getting caught with marijuana in Nebraska, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Nebraska and you are unable to pay the current bond set in your case, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.