It’s no secret by now that some states in the U.S. are falling behind the trend when it comes to legalizing marijuana. The majority of Americans are in favor of legalization, so why do some states continue to balk at the idea? For criminal lawyer Daniel Stockmann of Omaha, Nebraska, much of his work is devoted to guiding clients who are facing marijuana-related drug charges. Though marijuana has been somewhat decriminalized in the state, Stockmann still finds himself in the midst of these cases largely in part to Nebraska’s proximity to Colorado, perhaps the most pot-friendly state to date. Naturally, Nebraska law enforcement spends a bulk of their time cracking down on marijuana trafficking across state lines, to the dismay of many taxpayers who feel they should be spending their time on more serious criminal activity. These priorities from state law enforcement and the attitudes of government officials have gotten Nebraska ranked as one of the states least-likely to get on board with legalization.
States Falling Behind the Legalization Trend
According to a recent article from Civilized, Nebraska ties with Oklahoma as the fifth least-likely state to legalize cannabis, falling behind South Dakota, Alabama, and Idaho. However, compared to other states’ marijuana penalties, Nebraska’s decriminalized approach to marijuana seems downright friendly. Possession of small amounts of marijuana – less than one pound – in Nebraska is a misdemeanor, and possessing amounts over one pound is a felony that can result in a two-year sentence. While this may seem harsh, especially to strong advocates for legalized marijuana, the penalties in South Dakota are much worse; there, carrying over a pound of marijuana means facing a 25-year sentence.
If Nebraska has decriminalized marijuana, many wonder why the state falls so far behind in its efforts to legalize marijuana, especially for medical purposes. Civilized speculates that both Nebraska and Oklahoma are working to challenge Colorado’s pot-friendly laws. In addition to marijuana crossing into these states from Colorado, Nebraska’s Attorney General believes the cannabis culture of Colorado is influencing black markets to thrive in both Nebraska and Oklahoma. The rise of black markets would cause more challenges for law enforcement and lead to a higher expense to enforce prohibition. Most likely these attitudes will remain strong as long as marijuana activity from Colorado continues to filter across state lines.
Nationwide Feelings Haven’t Influenced Conservative States
What makes this list of “least-likely to legalize” states even more interesting is recent poll results showing just how many Americans are in favor of legalized marijuana. Gallup, which has been polling for data on this topic since 1969, has just released the results of their latest poll: how many Americans believe marijuana should be legal? In the highest numbers Gallup has seen yet, 64% of Americans support marijuana legalization. Better yet, 51% of republicans now support this movement, compared to last year’s 42%. Though the numbers clearly show the widespread support for more pot-friendly laws throughout the U.S., current government officials are pushing in the opposite direction. Just like Nebraska and other conservative states’ local legislatures, the federal administration includes many staunch opponents of the plant.
Criminal Lawyer Omaha: Contact Daniel Stockmann
Though this information can be disheartening, especially for marijuana advocates in the five previously mentioned states, it’s actually a good sign for the two-thirds of America in favor of pot-friendly laws. Public opinion can be hard to oppose for long. In the meantime, staying current with the changing laws from state to state is crucial. Daniel Stockmann, criminal defense lawyer, has over a decade of experience helping Omaha residents navigate the legal system. While Nebraska remains ranked as a state least-likely to legalize marijuana, Stockmann remains a valuable asset for anyone facing drug charges. If this is you or someone you know, please fill out the free case evaluation form on this page or call (844) 906-0641 today.