Updated on April 26, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Nebraska Medical Marijuana Facts
The medical marijuana facts for Nebraska will likely not change soon, even though advocates for the seriously ill in the state are fighting hard. Unfortunately, Nebraska is one of the very few states in the country that does not have any sort of medical cannabis program. Regardless of how much suffering people may be enduring, they either have to risk arrest to obtain marijuana or turn to powerful prescription drugs that not only have severe side effects but also carry the potential for a fatal overdose.
Medical Marijuana Facts for Nebraska
- As of this writing, it appeared that any movement toward establishing a medical marijuana system in Nebraska may not have occurred until 2018 at the earliest. Advocates were pessimistic they would be able to obtain the votes needed to fight a likely filibuster. Even if they were able to do so, it was almost a certainty that any bill would be vetoed by Governor Pete Ricketts.
- It is likely that the best chance for Nebraskans to obtain medical cannabis legally would be through a ballot initiative. The more residents speak up on behalf of those who are seriously ill, the better the chances that the measure will one day be put to a vote.
- However, it was expected that a bill would be introduced during the 2017 session to attempt to make medical cannabis available in Nebraska. It would not allow for either the cultivation or smoking of weed. Rather, it would allow patients to use cannabis in a liquid, pill or vapor form. Cannabis would only be able to be produced by manufacturers with state-issued licenses.
- One of the most ironic marijuana facts for Nebraska is that the state completely forbids the use of medicinal cannabis, but it is rather lenient toward people caught possessing small amounts of weed. The state is one of 21 in the country that considers a first offense (possession of an ounce or less) a civil infraction rather than a criminal one. The infraction is punishable by a $300 fine and possibly a drug education course as well.
- A second offense carries a penalty of a $400 fine and as many as five days in jail, while a person convicted of a third offense faces up to a week in jail and a fine of $500. Anyone caught with between an ounce and a pound of weed could be sentenced to as long as three months in jail as well as a fine of up to $500. However, possession of more than a pound is considered a felony. The penalties include up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
- In 2012, there were approximately 7,750 marijuana arrests and/or citations. The American Civil Liberties Union reports that black people 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for possessing pot than whites, even though usage rates in both racial groups are similar.
If you would like more medical marijuana facts for Nebraska or any other state, visit MarijuanaDoctors.com regularly. We will keep tabs on developments across the country and update our site as news warrants.