Lincoln - Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that would dip the
state's toes into industrial hemp production.
Legislative Bill 1001, passed 39-2, would allow the University of
Nebraska and State Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp
The measure, introduced by Sen. Norm Wallman of Cortland, mirrors the
new federal farm bill, which makes such research an exception to
federal drug laws.
Industrial hemp is a close plant cousin to marijuana but has very
little of the high-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Supporters say it could be a good alternative crop for Nebraska
farmers and could be used to produce a multitude of products.
Opponents worry that legalizing industrial hemp would be a step toward
McCOOK -- A Holbrook attorney is trying to launch a ballot initiative
to legalize marijuana in Nebraska.
Frank Shoemaker submitted petition language to the Nebraska secretary
of state earlier this month.
Shoemaker is listed as the sole sponsor of the Nebraska Marijuana
Legalization Initiative. The petition seeks to amend the state
Constitution to remove all laws that regulate the private,
non-commercial use of cannabis, and to regulate all commercial uses.
It seeks to place the question on the November 2012 ballot.
Shoemaker, an unsuccessful candidate for Legislature in 2006, would
need to collect valid signatures from 10 percent of the state's
registered voters. In 2008, that number was more than 112,000 signatures.
Dude, you're not in Colorado anymore.
So you can put your license for legal marijuana away. Because that
stopped being legal, oh, about the time you passed Julesburg and
crossed the Nebraska border.
A gap in Colorado law is allowing growers to produce far more medical
marijuana than patients can legally possess. And some of the surplus
is finding its way into Nebraska.
"We've seen it here in the city of Scottsbluff, and we've seen it in
the southern Panhandle, and we've seen it around the Sidney area,"
said Scottsbluff Police Chief Alex Moreno, also a coordinator of an
11-county drug task force.
[continues 485 words]
Nebraska Board of Pharmacy members heard more than an hour of
testimony Monday from proponents of legalizing medical marijuana.
Dr. Alan Worth, a Lincoln family practice physician, and others
testified they would like to see the board recommend the Legislature
make cannabis legal for medical purposes.
"You can provide a professional and scientific starting point," Worth said.
But the five board members weren't ready Monday to make a
recommendation either way, they said.
In February, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy recommended to state
lawmakers marijuana be reclassified from a Schedule I to a Schedule
II drug. Schedule II drugs have acceptable medical uses for
treatment, whereas Schedule I drugs are determined to have no proven
medical use and a high potential for abuse.
[continues 438 words]
Colorado and California have loosened their drug laws in the name of
"medical marijuana," and the issue is poised to come up in Nebraska
Few of us would advocate expanded availability of mind-altering
drugs, but there's a good argument that too much law enforcement
effort and court time is spent dealing, ineffectively, with drug violations.
Drug violations need to be taken seriously, but a growing system of
"Problem Solving Courts," specifically created to deal with drug
issues is a better approach than simply relegating the cases to
standard criminal courts.
[continues 269 words]
LINCOLN - The seeds of a discussion about legalizing marijuana for
medical purposes have been planted in Nebraska.
Three members of the State Board of Pharmacy plan to quiz their
colleagues about the controversial topic at the May 22-25 annual
meeting of the National Boards of Pharmacy in Anaheim, Calif.
Board Chairman Rick Zarek, a Gothenburg, Neb., pharmacist, said the
Nebraskans hope to learn more about "the pros and cons" of
legalization and any problems that have arisen in the 14 states that
now allow pot to be used for pain relief, appetite enhancement and
other medical purposes.
[continues 848 words]
I find the Journal Star's fear-mongering regarding the string of pot
busts in Lincoln unsurprising yet still disappointing.
Officers in haz-mat suits, terrified neighbors watching from the
"safety" of their homes? Not a single weapon was found in any of these
Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes. In addition,
there is not one recorded death caused by overconsumption of marijuana
. anywhere ... ever. Alcohol can't even make it through a month
without killing someone.
[continues 138 words]
While Nebraska and many other states are trying to figure out how to
close their massive budget shortfalls, the Dutch are trying to figure
out what to do with their closed prisons.
While the Netherlands has a total population of about 16.5 million, it
has only about 12,000 prisoners. On the other hand, the United States
has greater than 2,300,000 total prisoners.
If my math is correct, we in the U. S. have 18.2 fold the Dutch
general population and 191.6 fold their prison population.
[continues 60 words]
A retired police officer visited Bellevue and Omaha last week to
speak about drugs to the Kiwanis clubs. But he wasn't talking about
the evils of drugs or encouraging them to support the war on drugs.
In fact, he was speaking in favor of giving up the war altogether and
legalizing all drugs.
Tony Ryan, who was a police officer in Denver for 36 years, came on
behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit
organization made up of retired officers, prosecutors and judges who
travel the country and speak in favor of the legalization of drugs.
[continues 744 words]
In 36 years of continuous service as a Denver police officer, I was
shot at, stabbed - threatened in several ways. That came with the
territory, and my comrades and I were well protected by our equipment
and training. But, frightening as that was, nothing threatens the
honor and prestige of our police more than our mandate to carry out
the so-called war on drugs. When we jailed a rapist or a child
molester, we made the streets safer - period. But when we arrested a
drug dealer - at any level - we just created a job opening that was
[continues 624 words]
LINCOLN -- Getting caught with a little pot may soon be as costly as
getting caught drinking before your 21st birthday.
The Nebraska Legislature Tuesday passed a bill increasing the
penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Legislative
Bill 844, introduced by State Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber, passed on
a 40-2 vote.
If the bill is signed into law by the governor, fines would increase
to $300, up from $100, for possession of an ounce or less of
marijuana. Fines for a second offense would be increased to $400, up
from $200, and for third and subsequent offenses, to $500, up from $300.
[continues 102 words]
LINCOLN - Smoking pot is just as serious a crime as teenage drinking,
a state legislator says.
So State Sen. Russ Karpisek has introduced a bill to overturn the
30-year-old law that lets Nebraskans off with a $100 fine if caught
with less than one ounce of marijuana.
Karpisek said marijuana users, no matter their age, should face the
same potential penalties as a 20-year-old caught with a half-full can
of beer - up to 90 days in jail and as much as a $500 fine.
[continues 1229 words]
"Heads vs. Feds" will feature a debate between Steve Hager and Bob
Stutman, both leading figures in the fight over drug legalization.
The event will take place on Friday, March 30, at noon in the
Nebraska Room of the Milo Bail Student Center.
Hager is the editor in chief of High Times magazine and founder of
the Cannabis Cup. Stutman is a retired Drug Enforcement
Administration special agent and credited with bringing "crack" to
CRETE, Neb. -- An assistant professor of chemistry is developing a
tiny testing kit that women can carry in their purses and use to
quickly detect date-rape drugs.
Andrea Holmes, who teaches at Doane College in Crete, said "this
seemed to be a really, really relevant topic."
"So many women on college campuses are being affected by this," said Holmes.
Date-rape drugs -- or "roofies" -- such as Rohypnol are secreted into
a person's drink. The drug incapacitates the person and causes memory
loss. Men and women who have been raped while under its influence can
regain their senses with no memory of the assault.
[continues 239 words]
HOLDREGE -- There's an alternative crop that could be the answer to
some of Nebraska's water supply and rural economic development concerns.
It adapts well to Nebraska's soils and climate, uses less water than
corn or soybeans, and the right hybrids can produce more oil for
biodiesel. Its fibers can be processed into cloth and plastics.
There's only one hitch, according to Marvin Havlat of Milford. That
crop is hemp.
Federal laws don't make exceptions for hemp hybrids used for
industrial purposes, he said, even though they don't contain THC, the
chief intoxicant in marijuana.
[continues 336 words]
COLUMBUS - Drug dogs will be utilized at Columbus High and Columbus
Middle schools when school resumes Jan. 9.
Superintendent Paul Hillyer said the move is in reaction to learning
about the amount of drug use in the county. Hillyer said he learned
during a local law enforcement presentation Platte County has the
highest rate of drug use per capita of any county in the state.
In an effort to create the safest, drug-free environment for
students, Hillyer and the school board decided to use drug dogs at
the high school and middle school. The animals will be brought into
the schools by a K-9 force for random, unannounced visits after the
holiday break. Lockers and the buildings will be searched.
[continues 390 words]
The Nebraska Board of Pardons is looking for ways to streamline the pardon
process as more people seek an official pardon for past convictions in the
post 9/11 background-checking era.
"We have been swamped with paperwork and agenda items," said Secretary of
State John Gale. The meetings are getting very long, he said.
In June, the board spent almost four hours on 56 cases and finished just 15
minutes before the governor's first evening appointment. The board members
are the secretary of state, governor and attorney general.
[continues 1452 words]
Thought you would enjoy this as much as I did:
"The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a
methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the
adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, 'Why didn't we
have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'
"I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young:
"I was drug to church on Sunday morning.
"I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.
[continues 234 words]
Thanks for publishing Elizabeth Wehrman's outstanding letter: "Need A
Like Registered Nurse Wehrman, I have roots in the Midwest.
I grew up in Freeport and Rockford, Ill.
I'd like to add that I have never seen heroin, cocaine or
methamphetamine. However, I was offered free samples of these
dangerous drugs on several occasions, by my marijuana suppliers, when
I was a user of marijuana, which is more than 15 years ago.
(Yet, I've never been offered a free sample of whiskey or vodka when
buying beer or wine).
Like the vast majority of marijuana users, I was only interested in
marijuana and no other illegal drugs.
Fortunately, I turned down all offers of free samples of other drugs.
Unfortunately, many others do not--thus the gateway effect.
Why anyone would be opposed to ending drug prohibition is beyond me.
There are three entities that can control the manufacture and
distribution of drugs: the government, the free market or a
combination of these two, and third is Al Capone.
These are the only options. So, given these choices, why do we elect
the worst option? Why provide organized crime and international
terrorists a commodity to fund their efforts?
To those who believe we can somehow eliminate drugs from society,
think again: drugs have been here since the beginning of time and they
will always be with us. We cannot eliminate marijuana, coca and
poppies from the earth. Period.
[continues 55 words]