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Nebraska Marijuana Law

Penalty Details

Nebraska law lists Marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Possession

Possession of 1 ounce or less is an infraction, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $300. The judge may order the offender to complete a drug education course.

A second conviction for possession of 1 ounce or less is a Class IV misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500.

Third and subsequent convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less are a Class IIIA misdemeanor and are punishable by a maximum sentence of 7 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

Possession of more than 1 ounce – 1 pound is a class III misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 3 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

Possession of more than 1 pound is a class IV felony which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

See

  • § 28-416 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
  • § 28-105 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes

Sale/Manufacture

The sale of any amount is a class III felony, which is punishable by a 1 year mandatory minimum sentence and up to 20 years imprisonment as well as a maximum fine of $25,000.

The sale to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school or between 100-1,000 ft. of other designated areas is a class II felony, which is punishable by a 1 year mandatory minimum sentence and up to 50 years imprisonment.

A second or subsequent violation is a class ID felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years and up to 50 years imprisonment.

See

  • § 28-416 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • § 28-105 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes

Cultivation

Cultivation in Nebraska will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found. See the “Sale/Manufacture” section for further penalty details.

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish and THC Concentrates are individually named Schedule I controlled substances in Nebraska. Possession of hash is a Class IV felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Selling, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to distribute hashish is a Class III felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year, a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $25,000.

See

  • § 28-405(c)(23) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • § 28-416 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • § 28-416 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
  • § 28-105 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is an infraction which is punishable by a maximum fine of $100.

Each additional conviction is punishable by a fine of $200-$500.

Sale of paraphernalia is a Class II misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine not exceeding $1,000 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.

Sale of paraphernalia to a person under 18 at least 3 years younger is a Class I misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine not exceeding $1,000 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year.

Advertisement of is a Class III misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine not exceeding $500 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

See

  • 28-106 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
  • 28-441 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
  • 28-439 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • 28-440 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • 28-442 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
  • 28-443 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes
  • 28-444 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes 
CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DECRIMINALIZATION

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. 

HEMP

This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. 

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML’s report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

Nebraska Drugged Driving

In Nebraska, a person is guilty of a DUI if the person operates any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 60-6, 196 (LexisNexis 2010).

Implied Consent

  • Any person who operates or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in Nebraska shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to a chemical test or tests of his blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the concentration of alcohol or the presence of drugs. Id. § 60-6,197.
  • Refusal will result in driver’s license suspension for 6 months, imprisonment for 7 to 60 days, and a fine. Id. §§ 28-106, 60-6, 197-197.03.
  • Any person who refuses to submit to such preliminary breath test or whose preliminary breath test results indicate an alcohol concentration in violation of section 60-6,196 shall be placed under arrest. Any person who refuses to submit to such preliminary breath test shall be guilty of a Class V misdemeanor. Id. § 60-6, 197.04.
  • Refusal to submit to a chemical blood, breath, or urine test or tests pursuant to this section shall be admissible evidence in any action for a violation of section 60-6,196 or a city or village ordinance enacted in conformance with such section. Id. § 60-6, 197(6).
  • The person tested shall be permitted to have a physician of their choice evaluate his or her condition and perform or have performed whatever laboratory tests he or she deems appropriate, in addition to and following the test or tests administered at the direction of the officer. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-6,199. If the officer refuses to permit such additional test to be taken, then the original test or tests shall not be competent as evidence. Id. § 60-6, 199.

Penalties

  • First offense class W misdemeanor – mandatory minimum of 7 days imprisonment and $400 fine.; maximum of 60 days imprisonment and $500 fine; possible license revocation or vehicle impoundment for 6 months. Id. §28-106 (Class W); Id. §60-6,197.03(1).
  • Second offense class W misdemeanor – mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment and $500 fine; maximum of 6 months imprisonment and $500 fine; license revocation for one year; after probation period a person may apply for an ignition interlock permit for the remainder of the revocation period; required to pay $500 fine; and imprisonment for 10 days, or 240 hours of community service. Id. §28-106 (Class W); Id. §60-6,197.03(3).
  • Third offense class W misdemeanor – mandatory minimum of 90 days imprisonment and $600 fine; Maximum: 1 year imprisonment and $600 fine; operators license to be revoked for 15 years, following a period of probation; probation requires payment of a $600 fine and imprisonment for 30 days. Id. § 28-106 (Class W); Id. § 60-6,197.03(4).
  • Fourth offense class IIIA felony – maximum of 5 years imprisonment, or $10,000 fine, or both; operators license to be revoked for 15 years and imprisoned for 180 days; if operator is put on probation, operator’s license to be revoked for 15 years. Revocation order requires person not to drive for 45 days, after which person may apply for an ignition interlock permit for the remainder of the revocation period; probation requires payment of $1000 fine and imprisonment for 90 days. Id. § 28-1059(class IIIA); Id. § 60-6,197.03(7).
  • Fifth offense class III felony – minimum of one year imprisonment; maximum of 20 years imprisonment, or $25,000 fine, or both; operators license to be revoked for 15 years; if probation is granted, revocation order requires person not to drive for 45 days, after which person may apply for an ignition interlock permit for the remainder of the revocation period; probation requires payment of $1000 fine and imprisonment for 90 days. Id. § 28-1059(class III); Id. § 60-6,197.03(9).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Nebraska, law enforcement officials are entitled to carry out sobriety checkpoints under state law.

Stop of defendant’s automobile as she turned away from checkpoint was not based on reasonable suspicion. United States Department of Transportation policies permit a motorist who wishes to avoid checkpoint by legally turning before entering checkpoint area should be allowed to do so unless he or she commits a traffic offense. The act of avoiding sobriety checkpoint does not constitute grounds for an investigatory stop. State v. McCleery, 560 N.W.2d 789 (1997).

Case Law

State v. Falcon, 260 Neb. 119 (2000) — There was sufficient evidence to convict defendant of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; defendant was in actual physical control of motor vehicle, he admitted to the ingestion of alcoholic liquor and drugs, his eyes were red, and drug recognition expert was of the opinion that defendant was under influence of marijuana to such extent as to impair his ability to drive.

State v. Lesac, 231 Neb. 718 (1989) — Evidence was sufficient to convict in case involving driving under influence of controlled substance, where defendant had admitted consuming four bowls of marijuana, was driving on wrong side of road when stopped by police, was found to have marijuana in his possession, had glassy eyes, and failed sobriety test.

State v. Lichti, 219 Neb. 894 (1985) –Either a law enforcement officer’s observation of defendant’s intoxicated behavior or defendant’s poor performance on field sobriety tests sheall be considered sufficient to convict for DUI. Also see — State v. Falcon, 260 Neb. 119 (2000); State v. Miles, 602 N.W.2d 666 (1999); State v. Green, 238 Neb. 328 (1991).

Nebraska Hemp Law

Year Passed: 2014
Summary: Lawmakers approved legislation, LB 1001, reclassifying industrial hemp as an agricultural product and allowing for state-sponsored research into the plant’s cultivation. Under the new law, cannabis possessing not more than three-tenths of one percent THC is exempt from the state’s controlled substances act. The measure also permits the state Department of Agriculture and/or state universities to engage in the cultivation of hemp as part of an agricultural pilot program.

In February, members of Congress approved language (Section 7606) in the omnibus federal Farm Bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant.
Statute: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 2-5701 (2014)

Nebraska Tax Stamps

Stamp
State Code §77-4301
Tax Rate $100/ounce if owner possesses 6 ounces or more
Penalty for Nonpayment (Civil and Criminal ) 200% of tax and Class IV felony
Additional Information
Withstood constitutional attack on the grounds of self-incrimination in State v. Garza, 242 Neb. 573.

Withstood constitutional attack on the grounds of double jeopardy in State v. Detweiler, 249 Neb. 485.