How Does Nebraska Punish Marijuana Possession?
A total of 18 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for recreational use, as stated by U.S. News & World Report. These states include Nebraska’s bordering neighbor, Colorado. As of May 2021, 36 states and four territories allow medical use of cannabis products, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Regardless of the laws in other states, marijuana is always illegal in Nebraska, for both recreational and medical use.
Who Does Law Enforcement Target for Marijuana Possession in Nebraska?
It doesn’t matter if you legally purchased marijuana products in Colorado. Anyone found in possession of marijuana in Nebraska can be arrested. With recreational use legal in Colorado, law enforcement tends to target out-of-state drivers as they are entering Nebraska. Interstate 80 traffic stops are part of the tight net across the border that police have established to catch people transporting marijuana, hash oil, edibles, and other cannabis derivatives. In fact, among police officers, the I-80 corridor through Nebraska is known as the drug pipeline.
What Are the Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Nebraska?
Penalties for possession of marijuana will depend on the amount and any prior convictions.
- First offense: Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction, punishable by a citation, a fine of up to $300, and course attendance. Possession of more than one ounce is a Class IIIA misdemeanor, carrying penalties of three months jail time and up to $500 in fines. When the amount is more than one pound, possession of marijuana is a Class IV felony, punishable by 5 years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Second offense: For a second offense, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a Class IV misdemeanor, punishable by a citation, a $400 fine, and up to five days in jail.
- Third offense: Upon a third conviction, possession of under one ounce of marijuana is a Class IIIA misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine and up to seven days in jail.
When Are Marijuana Charges Felony Offenses?
Possession of more than a pound of marijuana is a Class IV felony. Distribution of any amount of the substance is a felony that carries severe penalties – up to 20 years in prison. If any amount of marijuana is distributed to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school, the offense carries between one and fifty years in prison.
What Are the Penalties for Concentrated Cannabis?
More potent, concentrated extracts of marijuana are considered controlled substances and treated differently than marijuana under the law. It is a felony in Nebraska to possess any amount of concentrated cannabis. This includes edibles (such as commercial gummy bears, brownies, and cookies), hash oil, vape pens, dabs, wax, and shatter. As controlled substances, commercial concentrated cannabis products are outside of the one-ounce threshold. Possession of one gummy bear is a felony.
What If You Have Been Arrested for Marijuana Possession in Nebraska?
If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana, speak with an experienced Omaha criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You have a right to strong representation to protect your future. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to bring a strong defense against your charges. Attorney Jason B. Bottlinger has dedicated his practice to fighting for the rights of real people. We can explain your rights and options under the law in a free consultation. Call us today at (402) 505-8234.
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