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1US NE: Nebraska Senators Ok Bill That Allows GrowingThu, 27 Mar 2014
Source:Omaha World-Herald (NE) Author:Stoddard, Martha Area:Nebraska Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2014

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 for research.

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 legalizing marijuana.

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2 US NE: Nebraska Lawyer Pushes For Marijuana Ballot InitiativeTue, 28 Jun 2011
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:Nebraska Lines:25 Added:06/29/2011

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.

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3 US NE: Colorado Medical Marijuana Making Way Into NebraskaSun, 05 Dec 2010
Source:Lincoln Journal Star (NE) Author:Salter, Peter Area:Nebraska Lines:97 Added:12/05/2010

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.

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4 US NE: Nebraska Pharmacy Board Hears Testimony On MedicalMon, 12 Jul 2010
Source:Lincoln Journal Star (NE) Author:Young, JoAnne Area:Nebraska Lines:95 Added:07/14/2010

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.

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5 US NE: Editorial: Drug Courts Offer Sensible Alternative To PrisonWed, 23 Jun 2010
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE)          Area:Nebraska Lines:66 Added:06/24/2010

Colorado and California have loosened their drug laws in the name of "medical marijuana," and the issue is poised to come up in Nebraska as well.

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.

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6 US NE: Will Medical Marijuana Be Legalized in Nebraska?Tue, 11 May 2010
Source:North Platte Telegraph, The (NE) Author:Hammel, Paul Area:Nebraska Lines:139 Added:05/11/2010

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.

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7 US NE: PUB LTE: Wake up: Legalize PotSun, 21 Mar 2010
Source:Lincoln Journal Star (NE) Author:Pirog, Matt Area:Nebraska Lines:46 Added:03/23/2010

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 grow houses.

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.

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8 US NE: PUB LTE: Empty Dutch PrisonsWed, 20 Jan 2010
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Nebraska Lines:43 Added:01/21/2010

Dear Editor,

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.

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9 US NE: Former Police Officer Makes Case for Legalization of DrugsThu, 24 Jul 2008
Source:Bellevue Leader (NE) Author:McDonald, Zachary Area:Nebraska Lines:120 Added:07/24/2008

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.

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10US NE: OPED: Drug War Costs a Lot, Does LittleFri, 18 Jul 2008
Source:Omaha World-Herald (NE) Author:Ryan, Tony Area:Nebraska Lines:Excerpt Added:07/18/2008

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 quickly filled.

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11US NE: Stiffer Penalties for Possession of Marijuana Sent to HeinemanWed, 16 Apr 2008
Source:Omaha World-Herald (NE) Author:Stoddard, Martha Area:Nebraska Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2008

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.

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12US NE: Nebraska Penalties For Marijuana Possession Called 'Too Lenient'Sat, 12 Jan 2008
Source:Omaha World-Herald (NE) Author:Reed, Leslie Area:Nebraska Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2008

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.

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13 US NE: Edu: Drug Legalization Debate PlannedTue, 20 Mar 2007
Source:Gateway, The (NE Edu)          Area:Nebraska Lines:27 Added:03/20/2007

"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 national attention.



[end]

14 US NE: Nebraska Professor Developing Test Strips To DetectThu, 10 Aug 2006
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH)          Area:Nebraska Lines:60 Added:08/10/2006

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.

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15 US NE: Industrial Hemp: Uncle Sam Still Just Says 'No'Thu, 18 May 2006
Source:Kearney Hub, The (NE) Author:Potter, Lori Area:Nebraska Lines:77 Added:05/25/2006

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.

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16 US NE: Drug Dogs To Be Part Of CHS, CMS HallsTue, 27 Dec 2005
Source:Columbus Telegram, The (NE) Author:Blum, Julie Area:Nebraska Lines:79 Added:12/28/2005

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.

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17 US NE: Board Members Want To Improve Pardon ProcessMon, 22 Aug 2005
Source:Lincoln Journal Star (NE) Author:Hicks, Nancy Area:Nebraska Lines:230 Added:08/22/2005

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.

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18 US NE: PUB LTE: Drug ProblemFri, 08 Jul 2005
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE) Author:Hein, Linda Area:Nebraska Lines:66 Added:07/09/2005

Dear Editor,

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.

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19 US NE: PUB LTE: Gateway EffectThu, 07 Jul 2005
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Nebraska Lines:47 Added:07/08/2005

Dear Editor,

Thanks for publishing Elizabeth Wehrman's outstanding letter: "Need A Change" (7-05-05).

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.

Best regards,

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.

[end]

20 US NE: PUB LTE: Which Option?Thu, 07 Jul 2005
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE) Author:Smithson, Mike Area:Nebraska Lines:48 Added:07/07/2005

Dear Editor,

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.

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