Cannabis in Nebraska

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Cannabis in Nebraska is illegal for all purposes, but first offense for possession of small amounts was reduced to a civil infraction in 1979.

Legal history


In 1969, Nebraska eased penalties for cannabis possession in the state, limiting the penalty for first-time possession to no more than 7 days in jail.[1] Marijuana was decriminalized to a civil infraction for first-time offenders in 1978 or 1979.[2]

2014 lawsuit against Colorado

In December 2014, Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a suit with the United States Supreme Court, asking them to strike down Colorado's legalization of cannabis, arguing that it had resulted in a spillover of cannabis activity into their states, and thus increasing enforcement expenses and social harm.[3]

2015 medical cannabis attempt

In 2015, LB463, the “Cannabis Compassion and Care Act,” was proposed in Nebraska's unicameral legislature, which would allow medical marijuana in liquid or pill form (but not smoked leaf form) for prescribed patients suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS and hepatitis C. Following an initial 27-12 vote in favor, the bill's creator, Tommy Garrett of Bellevue requested the bill be held until 2016, due to conflicting priorities as the senators dealt with the fallout from the legislature's 2015 prohibition of capital punishment.[4][5]


Nebraska is noted for the presence of feral hemp plants, low in psychoactive THC and generally known as "ditch weed" (or more rarely "Nebraska Nonsense").[6] A 1987 study noted that 12.4 million cannabis plants were eradicated in Nebraska annually.[7] Hemp researcher David West recommended that farmers store feral hemp seed prior to legalization, in hopes of rebuilding a stock of landrace strain of indigenous cannabis.[8]


Further reading