Marijuana: After 30 Years, Nebraska Legislator Wants to Recriminalize

For three decades, marijuana possession has been decriminalized in Nebraska, but now a state legislator has filed a bill, LB844, that would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Currently, the maximum penalty for possession of less than one ounce is a $100 fine.

Nebraska is one of 12 states where marijuana possession has been decriminalized. Most of of them decriminalized in the 1970s, but Nevada joined the select group in 2001. A decriminalization initiative will go before Massachusetts voters this fall, and it appears the Vermont legislature may consider a move this year as well (See story here this issue).

But if state Sen. Russ Karpisek has his way, Nebraska will be heading in the other direction. He told the Omaha World-Herald he wants pot smokers to suffer at least the same penalty as underage drinkers.

"Alcohol is legal for adults, while marijuana is an illegal substance," the Wilber lawmaker said. "It's one of those things us rednecks really get mad about."

The proposed bill is winning the support of anti-drug activists and some prosecutors. The "parent resource group" PRIDE-Omaha Inc. thinks it's a good idea.

"Current law is too lenient. It's kind of viewed as a slap on the wrist. Society in general ties the seriousness to the punishment. Our kids are growing up in a culture that really normalizes the use of marijuana," said the group's co-executive director Margaret Grove, adding that passing the measure would challenge social acceptance of marijuana use.

"I think certainly we would be inclined to make the argument that we've de-emphasized it too much," Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said. "We're not sending a very good message." People don't want to go to the county's marijuana diversion program because they see the $100 fine as a "cost of doing business," Polikov complained.

But former state Sen. John DeCamp, then of Neligh, who led the decriminalization effort in the 1970s, said there was a sound basis for it. "I had very solid reasons for it," DeCamp said, adding that he convinced conservative legislators it would save tax dollars by incarcerating fewer people. Also, DeCamp said, soldiers were returning home from Vietnam "accustomed to a toke of marijuana" and didn't deserve to have their lives ruined.

Similarly, Omaha defense attorney Don Fiedler, who lobbied to support the 1978 decrim effort, said the move kept many Nebraskans from getting drug-related criminal records that would hinder their future prospects.

Last year, there were 7,416 citations and arrests for possession, sale, and manufacture of marijuana in the state, according to the Nebraska Crime Commission.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

its a plant idiots!

WAKE UP>>

Marijuana

Pot is a heck of a lot safer than alcohol. It never should have been criminaized in the first place.

To "Pot is a heck of a lot safer than alcohol..."

Do your research before blurting out your over simplistic and substantially un-informed rhetoric!

Pot is a heck of a lot safer than alcohol, anonymous

I suggest that YOU do your research before everyone realizes what an idiot you are. Everyone knows marijuana has not ever killed anyone, and the greatest danger of smoking it is going to jail. Alcohol kills people every day. A lot of people. Your post is the most ridiculous thing I've read on the subject!

Too late, I already realize

Too late, I already realize what an idiot he is.

obviously

you were the one not doing the research

douche

Marijuana poisoning?

A buddy of minedied from Alcohol poising a few years ago, down in panama city,fl, at spring break. Marijuana has yet to cause ANY deaths that i know of, definetly no one I know.

yes I do abd your an idiot

a idiot

Here it is!

You can overdose on marijuana! Its all about the math. If you smoke 1,500 lbs in 60 minutes or 767 joints every second for 15 minutes you will overdose. Good luck!

pot

you have to smoke twice your body weight in 60 minutes to overdose, and if youve ever seen a pound you know its impossible. Im 15 and weigh 165 lbs. 165 times two at $1000(average cost per pound). you got that kind of money to try to kill your self? stick to snorting a-jax

maybe you should do some

maybe you should do some goddamn research you ingnorant speck...marijuana has NO reported deaths, while alcohol and tobacco have millions...which seems safer?!

I'll bet this moke is a

I'll bet this moke is a Republican toady of the Bush administration even though his party affiliation isn't listed here. When comes the revolution there'll be no Dick and Bush screwing everyone over nothing at all. VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008!!!!

If you Vote LIBERTARIAN or GREEN

Some of the worst "drug warriors" are Democrats who try to be tougher on "drug crime" than Republicans. Throw them all out.

ron paul

ron paul is the only candidate wanting to stop the drug war, among other great things. dont vote based on party affiliation, vote based on the issues! ronpaul2008.com

still feeel that way?

just curious?

Hey dipshit

Just so you know
Sen. Russ Karpisek (D-NE 32nd District)

Hmmm

"To "Pot is a heck of a lot safer than alcohol..."
Comment posted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:23pm
Do your research before blurting out your over simplistic and substantially un-informed rhetoric! "

I have read the research. I'm an MD, for crying out loud ... and -- although it is indeed simplistic -- I don't see an error with the first statement at all.

Is there some confusion for you, anonymous?

Is that a request for some research results, perhaps?

*Third Eye Open*

An M.D. huh! Well then you are the real Enemy with those type of views. How dare you talk of research. Did you ever research the Prozac you prescribed? Probably not$$ How about the Morphine and its physically addictive properties? Did you research that? How about Clonazepam, or serequel?
What kills me about Medical M.Ds' is that Most of them are lyers, lazy, and cocky due to their education! Let me be the first to tell you, Your not God!! Stop playing hypocrite. If you prescribe MAN MADE drugs with the ugliest side affects, why not prescribe a GOD MADE herbal (not drug) with far less immediate or continues side effects? Wait I know why...Your not a real M.D., your just a graduate!!

To "Do your Research"

You're the one most in need of research, shithead; get your head out of your asshole you ignorant fuck!

Totally dangerous

it makes me giggle.... i must be such a hard criminal.....

OK!

Giggling is bad enough already, but it can lead to fits of uncontrollable laughter.
And that's real deadly!

Funny!

THEY think they can make marijuana go away. . . So hilarious!!!

It's Laughter...

If anything can kill prohibition---it's laughter; lots of it!

Medical Degrees

Few medical doctors and certainly fewer scientists would come to the same conclusion as the MD above regarding the relative dangers of marijuana versus alcohol.

On the other hand, a medical degree is not necessarily sufficient to confer expertise. I once met an MD who believed plants had ESP. Fortunately, he was refused a license to practice medicine because he was recognized as being nuts while still an intern. His specialty was pediatrics.

Giordano

Uh, RIGHT. Have you ever

Uh, RIGHT. Have you ever read the studies, Giordano? Obviously not.

Every post I've seen

Every post I've seen degrading weed has either had no supporting evidence or has had no supporting logic. Please, stop spitting our empty rhetoric without proving your point, I don't give a fuck if your an M.D. You of all people should know the importance of citing legitimate sources or explaining sound, irrefutable logic. If your going to argue against the general response to this new post, at least make your team look good! Good God, your making this debate too easy for us supporting Marajuana :)

For example. By illegalizing weed, you are guaranteeing that non-violent, otherwise law abiding indivduals (such as myself) must go to other, possibly violent, law breaking dealers to obtain this herb. Sure, the general number of people smoking weed my go down as a result, but instead of puting money into the pockets of the government coffers (by legalizing weed, hemp could be heavily taxed under the same standard as tobacco), you choose to fund the business of certain drug-lords who are slinging around a lot more tahn harmless reefer. If your going to think about your children, instead, educate them on the truth of marajuana, instead of illegalizing it, and let them decide what is right or wrong. Otherwise, your loved ones have open access to people trying to sell substances much more dangerous than pot. Please. Use a little bit of logic.

Notice how I didn't even mention its medicinal purposes? I don't need to, as long as pot doesn't kill brain cells (alcohol?) or quadruples the chance for lung cancer (yes, it increases the chance for lung cancer, the same way chewing tobacco increases mouth cancer, cigerettes to lung cancer, and the general decay of natrual materials found in all living beings and building structures into alpha and beta particles, which is the leading cause of cancer in the first place, but its nothing when compared to nicotine and cigerette companies!)

Dangerous marijuana?

Other than a possible correlation to cancer (but correlation does not mean causation, if you are college educated you received that bit in Psych 100-level) marijuana is one of the safest drugs known to man. No one has ever died from an overdose. In most clinical studies, the only noticeable effect was that of a slight drop in short-term memory, which equated to a slight drop in IQ (1-2 pts.) - but this drop was temporary. In fact, some scientific studies performed with it found that, on average, marijuana users had an IQ of 113 - compared to the average IQ of the rest of the population being around 100. It is also known to slightly increase alpha wave brain activity.

Which can mean one of two things. One, marijuana possibly increases intelligence. Or two, on average, people with above-average intelligence smoke marijuana. The alpha wave aspect just means people who smoke marijuana are a little more creative than non-smokers on average. That fact is objective.

Either way, it looks good. You can die easily from alcohol overdose, and it quite literally kills your brain cells. Not to mention the fact it can cause a physical dependency, which can lead to lethal withdrawal symptoms.

Keep on drinking, buddy! All of the marijuana nay-sayers can just keep on drinking themselves into an early grave, as far as I'm concerned.

Booze Kills!

Booze put my brother-in-law in his grave at 49 by destroying his liver.
I tried getting him into smoke but by then his brain was so addled by drink, he believed the the tsunami of lies put out by drug-war scum-bags.
It kills me that these fucks never pay for the shit they cause!
An intelligent society would have them behind bars, where they belong!

the mother

There is a drug epidemic at large that few people seem to be aware of. It has been silently raging for well over a thousand years and is responsible for many times more destruction than all of the other drugs combined. As a result of the abuse of this drug, millions of people around the world have been cast into such a state of despair and alienation that they have been driven to seek solace through the use of the other drugs and alcohol.
This is the same drug that corrupted the thinking of the first European immigrants to the Americas and helped them to rationalize the killing of over 100 million indigenous Americans. That horrendous campaign included the theft of everything from Hudson Bay to the southern tip of South America, and stands as the second worst act of genocide and terrorism ever committed on planet earth.
This is the same drug that corrupted the European colonizers of Africa and helped them to delude themselves into thinking that what they were doing was somehow, not only excusable, but Christian. The estimated death toll to that horrendous campaign is around 400 million souls. By far the worst crime ever to take place on this planet.
This is the same drug that corrupted the thinking of the leaders of the church and inspired them to operate something called the Inquisition for 350 years. The resulting reign of terror was responsible for the torture and murder of well over a hundred million people on five continents.
This is the same drug that the leaders of the church were on when they and various monarchies insinuated that they were infallible and omnipotent. The result was six centuries of forced ignorance now referred to as the “dark ages”.
This is the same drug that the followers of Islam were on in centuries past when they convinced themselves that God wanted them to force their religion onto the rest of the world at the end of a sword. No-one knows how many died as a result of that campaign of religious inspired insanity because record keeping was not considered necessary.
This is the same drug that the founders of this country were on when they said that they were founding a democracy but simultaneously declared that it was perfectly acceptable to deprive the vast majority of their constituents the right to vote and even buy and sell others like cattle. Had they not had their reasoning clouded by this drug they would have understood that a democracy differs from all other forms of government by the fact that they, the government, exist to serve all of its citizens, not just the rich and powerful.
This is the same drug that twists the thinking of the current world leaders into continually devoting ever increasing proportions of our resources towards the development of weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile tens of millions starve to death annually for lack of less than a dollars worth of food per day.
Please take note of the irony of the present day situation. The very same people, i.e. the pseudo-Christian and their neo-monarchist accomplices who have, throughout history, been responsible for the most horrible acts of genocide and theft that the world has ever seen are now telling us that it is necessary for them to implement a right wing totalitarian state once again. The reason being that somehow it is the fault of the people that they have been systematically exploiting century after century, so therefore it is now their duty to strip us of any last vestige of Democracy “for our own good”. Unfortunately, this is just another example of the very twisted logic that our pseudo-democratic and pseudo-Christian governments are so well known for.
This is the drug that presently perverts the thinking of most of our current world leaders and makes them blind to the fact that the real culprit is now and has always been the abuse of power. The simple fact is that there is a very easy way to make most of the terrorism, crime and sufferings in the world disappear without killing anyone, and that is to simply initiate an actual democracy and begin to serve all of the people instead of just the rich and powerful.
As you can see our government, church and corporate leaders are addicted to the “mother of all drugs’ and are in an ongoing state of denial. In many ways we, the worlds’ people, are like the country bumpkin who is met on the way to town every month and gets swindled by the same group of hustlers using a slightly different version of the same scam. We have allowed the people who are supposed to be protecting us from tyranny to become the criminal organization that have always been responsible for the worst acts of tyranny that the world has ever witnessed.
It is time for the citizens of planet earth to figure out who the addicts are and what the real drug is.

Redneck idiots

I'm ashamed and embarassed to be a citezen of Nebraska right now. If this passes, will also be seriously considering leaving my home of 35 years. Yes, because of this idiocracy.

Ditto! I've lived in

Ditto! I've lived in Nebraska most of my life, but this is getting a bit ridiculous! I guess we'll know it passed when everyone in moves out of state! :p

dipshits

All of you people opposed to marijuana are just fucking retarded. Marijuana is a growing economy no matter where you live, but living in Nebraska i've noticed that it is huge. 90% of the people i have met in the last three years either know people who grow/sell it or they sell it themselves. The government needs to just give in and realize how much money they can make off of this.

Marijuana has NO long lasting effects to the body and it doesnt hurt any organs. It's NOT addictive. It does NOT impair a person's driving to the point that they can't control it. The people who get hurt while high are the people who are either drunk when they toke or they are on medications that mix poorly with marijuana and cause them to be out of control. I dont care how much pot you smoke it is NOT humanly possible to overdose. so FUCK OFF anti-pot activists.

You are so right. All these

You are so right. All these people just go to the "above the influence" websites and believe all the shit propaganda the government puts out.

Here's a "fact" I found on the Above the influence website:
"Pot is addictive. It has the highest number of people in drug treatment for their addiction than all other drugs/alcohol combined"

You know why that is?

It's because, seriously, more than half the people I have met smoke weed. Especially here in Nebraska. Eventually, people get caught. If given the option to go to a place to "treat their drug problem" or go to prison, what are they honestly going to choose!?

Exactly. "Drug treatment". Because you aren't going to PRISON.

If you're bitching about anything, you should be bitching to God for PUTTING MARIJUANA ON THIS PLANET. ITS A PLANT! It's not meth, it's not cocaine, it's POT, MARIJUANA, A PLANT.

"In fact, some scientific

"In fact, some scientific studies performed with it found that, on average, marijuana users had an IQ of 113 - compared to the average IQ of the rest of the population being around 100. It is also known to slightly increase alpha wave brain activity"

Actually, not to brag or anything, just to further prove your point, I have been a DAILY marijuana smoker for 18 years, just graduated from college with a 4.0, and tested with an IQ of 151. Marijuana has also saved my life, as I have suffered with terrible anxiety and PTSD and it is the only non-addictive medication that has ever worked.

I can't drink anymore.....

Where can I buy some weed? Are there any good police officers out there with access to the evidence room who would like to make some extra money?

S.E Nebraska

Come on down to southeast NE. It is oftly green this time of year!!!

SO WHAT HAPPENED

Why can't I find any news on whether or not this passed? Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought the vote was yesterday.

Put down the bong!

I think most of the reason why these bills come to pass and pot smokers get a kick in the balls is because we sit at home. Not enough of us are active in protecting/creating our rights. I know there was an open forum in Lincoln, but the turn out was kind of pathetic. Don't feel ashamed for being one of the millions of pot smokers in the world. This is a democracy. We are the people. Lets go out and let the world know that its not illegal. Lets turn the argument to if marijuana is a lesser fine than possession of alcohol under age then why don't we create a legal age for it and raise the fine for the use under that age. You can't say that one thing is worse for you than another based on a law. You need facts and reason.

I just came back to Ne. from

I just came back to Ne. from Northern Ca. and was amazed at how easy it was for me to get medical marijuana. I want to become more active. Could you point me in the right direction?

not even joking

does anyone smell a skunk????

Happy 420

This is crazy to be reversing our rights. Keep small time dealers off the streets.

Legalize, Tax, Educate.

Happy 420,

Matt

Rednecks?

Its always this same battle, Cowboys and indians, Stoners and Rednecks, its always been this battle between the two. Dumbass rednecks made it illegal to begin with because they saw its use by black people in the south. For some odd ass reason Rednecks have this stigma that pot ruins everything and changes people. If everyone put all of their damn stereotypes aside and look at what has really gone on throughout history. Its simple common sense, Pot isn't illegal because its bad its only bad because its illegal!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck everyone, the best thing you can do is keep cheefin! peace!
GWB

here's margaret grove's email..:-)

mgrove@pride.org

lay into her ignorant ass

The numbers game.

Just FYI, according to the Nebraska statistics for expenditure per criminal per year for prisoners; it costs $41,000 to incarcerate a prisoner for one year. That, peared down for the proposed punishment as per the legislation, it would cost taxpayers $10,250 per prisoner for the three month period of incarceration. Although offenders would pay a fine of $500, that money would be used to offset court costs, and not as additional funding for prisons.

60% of inmates currently incarcerated are in prison for drug crimes.
Thank God for Ronald fucking Reagan, let's not add to his legacy of Authoritarianism.

Regardless of what anti-drug fascists may say, the costs to society of implementing this horseshit would HEAVILY outweigh the benifits. But, it's also an ineffective policy, according to historical studies of drug use in the United States, in areas of stricter Marijuana laws, it is more heavily used.

Compare the effects of prohibition of Alcohol to the current prohibition of marijuana. In both instances, "lords of the immoral" sold an illegal ware and profited highly, in turn increasing crime and the availability of their product.

Grow a brainstem.

lol

grow a brain stem couldnt of said it any better myself

keep on cheifin nebraskans we know whats right and wrong fuck the gov they retarded bastards that all they want is money and for the rich to get richer and the poor get poorer

LEGALIZE IT IN NEBRASKA !!!!!!

Hey Marijuana is just a plant. If it was legalized it would be a great crop to grow in Nebraska. It'll grow on unusable acres that other crops wont grow on. It can be used for 1000's of puposes. America needs to get off foriegn oil and start grow hemp for oil. An acre of hepm produde 5 times the amount a acre of corn does, plus you can also make oil out of it, which you cant with corn. Anyways I'm just waking and baking and wanted to my 2 cents in.

yeah thats funny

its funny, but i looked it up and its all true

the government wont let it be grown for fuel production, but it is considered a great source of fuel.

god help nebraska

Nebraska sucks. I live in SE Nebraska and the cops here have nothing better to do than bust MIP parties. Are you shitting me? An 18 year old boy has a beer with has buddies on the farm and they hear about it...oh shit...they would throw a fit. And probly get tazed if he talks back to the cop. If you smoke week in SE NE they see you as trash, dirt. I spent vacation in Cali last summer, a cop walked up on me and a buddy smokin it up all he did was take the joint smash it in the ground and walk away...i was like wtf? in neb they would have tackled you or tazed you...its sad. go get the crackheads boys...leave us cheifers alone!

no joke

north central is the same way bro. Valentine NE, famous for the butt bandit and the worlds fattest man. although it is extremely easy to get away with growing here due to the hundreds of acres of natural ditch weed growing all around the area.

LEGALIZE IT

Fix the mistake that was made in the criminalization of weed. There is not one legitimate reason that weed is illegal it started with Harry J. Anslinger and William Randolph Hearst and his goddamn newspapers. Anslinger was a crooked racist politician and the head of the Bureau of Narcotics who opposed weed just because mexicans brought it into the country. He was a fucking McCarthyist as well making statements about weed with no proof to back any of it up such as:
"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others."

"...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

"Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death."

"Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

"Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing"

"You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother."

"Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."

He received additional help from Hearst. Hearst had invested billions in logging companies to fund his newspaper chains and when people were discovering the many uses of weed and learned it could be used as paper, Hearst realized it could be the end of his logging companies, his newspaper chains, and his money. So he put out columns in his papers about "the evils of marijuana" and people were dumb enough to believe it. With Hearst and Anslinger working together they couldn't be stopped. Hearst controlled the media and Anslinger provided him with material to put into it. Now those lies that everyone beleived to be true have been around so long that they are beleived to be fact. So in a nut shell, the criminalization and subsequent prohibition of Marijuana were caused, or at least contributed to in a very significant way, by those corrupt leaders of this country and their ancestors that uphold their erroneous views of marijuana. The masses are controlled by the media, the media is controlled by the government, and the government is controlled by those pompous, rich, powerful, and corrupt bastards with all the money. They are the reason why things in this country are so bad, why weed is illegal. Legalize weed and that is one step toward a better future, one step against those tyrants who control all with their money.

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