Nebraska struggles to deal with Marijuana Influx

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 13, 2014.

The security officials and law enforcing members in Nebraska are having a tough time these days to deal with heavy marijuana influx from Colorado. In the first five months in 2014, around 7,000 arrests have been made in Sidney, Neb, a small city of less than 7,000 people. That has baffled the law enforcement agencies. According to cops, at least 50% traffic stops have resulted in marijuana arrests, which is a dangerous trend.

In the last six months, the police department has been spending huge amount of extra money on prosecution arguments and trials in court. Authorities have now urged the lawmakers to enforce stricter penalties to prevent the massive marijuana influx. The cops believe that imposing a strict fine would work as a deterrent for the offenders, who think that they can get away with small fines worth $120 or so even if they use marijuana in public. The fine should be increased by 10 times to make them think twice before they flout the rules, the cops argue.

The KHAS TV reports that Deule County Sheriff Adam Hayward complained about increasing number of felony drug cases stemming from Colorado marijuana, which is draining resources to accommodate the arrested people in various jails and pay defense attorneys during the court cases. Similar complaints are coming from Cheyenne County, which has made 60 marijuana arrests in 2013 as compared to 45 in 2010.

The cops in Nebraska mince no words to declare that Colorado's gain is Nebraska’s pain. Colorado has legalized medical as well as recreational marijuana. But, Nebraska is probably paying the price for sharing the border with that state. In early September, the Western Nebraska law enforcement officers raised the issue and argued how legalization of marijuana in Colorado have affected Nebraska.

Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman lamented that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has completely changed the landscape of Nebraska. He raised the issue of increase in the number of kids as young as 14 who are being ticketed for marijuana possession. The use of marijuana remains illegal in all forms under federal law of the United States. Six other states also share the borders with Colorado. It would be interesting to see whether they too face similar issues or that is limited to Nebraska only.

comments powered by Disqus