Legalized marijuana is a reality in more and more states in the U.S., but what are Nebraska’s marijuana laws? This article gives you the latest guide to charges and penalties for possession of marijuana and concentrated cannabis.
Find out what you need to know about what’s legal and illegal when it comes to marijuana in the state of Nebraska.
Is Marijuana Legal in Nebraska?
No. Possession of marijuana is illegal in the state of Nebraska. This goes for medicinal and recreational use as well.
Not only that, the range of possible criminal penalties for marijuana is jarring. The official statute that covers most of the law is Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-416.
Check out this post if you are charged with a class 4 felony possession of drugs in Nebraska.
In Nebraska, marijuana possession ranges from a lowly infraction to a high grade felony. The amount, number of prior offenses, and form of the marijuana are all factors that weigh into the potential punishment for possession of marijuana.
What Are the Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Nebraska?
At the most basic level, possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana, first offense, is an infraction in Nebraska. This carries a $300 fine plus court costs.
This is the most common marijuana related charge. If you received a citation or ticket from law enforcement, it should say it on the front.
In many counties, you can waive your appearance before a judge and just pay the fine. You should check the bottom of your ticket, call the court, or consult a lawyer to see if your ticket qualifies.
For a second offense of marijuana possession under one ounce, you will be charged with a class IV misdemeanor, issued a citation, fined $400, and may be imprisoned for up to five days.
For a third, and all subsequent, offenses of marijuana possession under one ounce, you will be charged with a class IIIA misdemeanor, issued a citation, fined $500, and may be imprisoned for up to seven days.
It’s important to point out that these penalties apply only to marijuana and not concentrated cannabis products or hash. Possession of concentrated cannabis is a felony and will be covered in more detail below.
Also, marijuana is considered a “Schedule I” drug in Nebraska, which means you could be charged with a felony depending on the quantity and circumstances.
What are Infractions vs. Misdemeanors in Nebraska?
Criminal charges in Nebraska are classified as either infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. An infraction, such as a speeding ticket or a first offense of marijuana possession under one ounce, is usually only punishable with a fine. Infractions do not carry any possibility of jail time.
On the other hand, misdemeanors are considered more serious. Misdemeanors can range from fines to imprisonment up to one year.
What is the difference between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?
Just as misdemeanors are more serious than infractions, felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies are the most serious type of criminal charge. Felony sentences can range from probation to years in prison.
In addition, a felony conviction has several other consequences like the loss of the right to vote and the right to own a firearm. Plus, it can make it much more difficult to get a job. However, in some cases, a felony sentence can be probation.
When is Marijuana Possession Considered a Felony in Nebraska?
Possession of marijuana in Nebraska becomes a felony when you possess more than one pound. You could be charged with a felony for possession of less than a pound if you are either caught selling it, or law enforcement believes you are possessing it with the intent to sell or deliver.
It is also a felony to possess any quantity of concentrated cannabis or hash. This would generally include other forms of marijuana, such as edibles, wax, hash oil, etc.
What is Concentrated Cannabis?
Concentrated cannabis is a highly potent extract of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This deviation of traditional marijuana is considered a controlled substance and is treated differently than marijuana.
Concentrated cannabis is not found in plant form, it is in derivatives such as commercially produced products like vape pens, wax, dabs, shatter, etc.
Are Edibles Considered Concentrates?
Felony gummy bears? Yes, in Nebraska, possession of commercially produced edibles from states like Colorado or Oregon is a felony. This is because these products are made using concentrates.
This applies to most marijuana edibles, such as brownies, gummy bears, and cookies because of the high amount of THC that is present.
This makes them a controlled substance, outside of the 1 ounce threshold, making them a felony to possess. This means that the amount of edibles possessed does not matter.
One gummy bear= one felony.
It is important to note that commercial edibles and home-baked edibles can differ. Commercial grade edibles are more likely to contain high levels of THC, making it a concentrate.
On the other hand, home-baked edibles may not contain extremely potent levels of THC, which would potentially make them subject to laws regarding possession of marijuana under 1 ounce.
What is Weed Wax and is it a Felony in Nebraska?
Weed wax is a form of concentrated cannabis, which is similar to hash oil. It is It looks like traditional wax and can contain very high levels of THC.
Weed Wax is considered a felony in Nebraska because it is a considered a controlled substance, and is not subject to the weight classifications of marijuana. So possession of any amount of weed wax is a felony.
What Are Dabs and is Possession a Felony?
Dabs are also another form of concentrated cannabis similar to hash oil. Dabs also contain high levels of THC.
This marijuana extract is considered a controlled substance, also outside of the one ounce laws. Possession of dabs, of any amount, is a felony in the state of Nebraska.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is another form of concentrated cannabis, meaning it contains extremely high levels of THC. Shatter is comparable to dabs or hash oil, which also makes it a controlled substance.
Any amount of shatter is considered felony is the state of Nebraska.
Nebraska Hash Laws
Hash is a form of concentrated cannabis, which, as stated before, is a felony in the state of Nebraska. Any amount possessed is subject to a felony charge.
Hash v. Hash Oil in the State of Nebraska
Hash, or sometimes called hashish, is essentially the resin from a cannabis plant. This resin would be considered concentrated cannabis, and subject to a felony charge.
Hash oil, is also concentrated cannabis and a felony. It is the oil extracted from the hash resin. Both forms contain high levels of THC and are felonies. The amount possessed does not matter.
Is Hash Possession a Felony in Nebraska?
Yes, possession of both hash and hash oil are felonies in Nebraska. Neither the amount nor the form matter.
What About Legally Purchased Marijuana From Colorado, and other states, that is found in Nebraska?
It does not matter if your marijuana was purchased in a state like Colorado where it is legal.
It becomes illegal to possess when it is brought to Nebraska. This goes for all forms of marijuana, including edibles and other kinds of concentrates.
Again, these items may be legal to purchase and use in states like Colorado, but possession, transfer, and consumption of all marijuana products becomes illegal once it is brought into a state like Nebraska.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Nebraska?
No. Medical marijuana is not currently legal in the state of Nebraska. Even if you have a valid prescription from another state, it is not legal to possess medical marijuana in Nebraska.
Recently legislation has been proposed in the Nebraska Legislature regarding medical marijuana, but nothing has passed.
What are the Legal Defenses to Possession of Marijuana
While the fact that the marijuana was purchased in a legal state is not a defense in Nebraska, there are other defenses to marijuana possession charges.
Defenses can range from the definition of possession to the chemical makeup of the substance. The law is convoluted in this area and that can leave room for argument.
There are also procedural issues to review, such as the legality of a traffic stop, search of a person or vehicle or seizure of evidence. There are several points in any case that may be vulnerable to challenge.
If you have been charged or are worried about charges coming, educate yourself on the law or reach out to lawyer. You can contact Sopinski Law Office here if you have a case in Nebraska, or just give us a call at 402-704-7529.