Our Omaha defense attorney blog often discusses state-to-state legality issues. In most cases, the issues surround marijuana leaving Colorado, where it is legal, and being transferred through Nebraska, where it is not legal, to other parts of the country. It’s well-known that Nebraska’s interstates are heavily patrolled because of this, and officers will look for any excuse to pull a vehicle over when they think marijuana is present. In some cases, these are traffickers transporting it for the sake of sale, while other times it’s average people with just a small amount for personal use on hand who get caught on the roadways in this manner. Unfortunately, a new case reveals that there could be a new trend beginning, which may have worrisome consequences for the legal marijuana industry as a whole.
It’s Up to the States to Set Laws and Enforce
Marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, for both medicinal and recreational use. However, as public opinion has changed on the leafy green substance, many states have decided to eschew federal laws and enact their own. After much back-and-forth, the feds eventually agreed to have a “hands-off” policy in states which have moved to legalize marijuana, but the state-to-state battles over the movement of it remain.
A Legal Oregon Recreational Marijuana Processor was Arrested in Nebraska
The latest case, which takes things to a whole new level, involves the Nebraska arrest of an individual who was licensed to process marijuana in Oregon. To be clear, not everyone can qualify to be a processor in Oregon. It’s a regulated industry, just like any other. Those who become processors must be trained and agree to follow very specific guidelines. It’s these types of laws which, when followed, give the industry legitimacy and show other states that the industry is safe and operations can be carried out in a responsible fashion.
The Marijuana Bust Happened on I-80
The recent story shares many characteristics of other stops happening in Nebraska these days. The individual was traveling on I-80 when he caught the attention of officers. The officers used a common, yet somewhat intangible excuse for making the stop: they claimed the driver was “following too close.” Then, the officer claimed he smelled marijuana. All of this is difficult to prove or disprove; it’s the officer’s word versus witnesses, as is often the case. With scent being enough to give the officer probable cause to search the vehicle, he did, and it turned out to be a major bust.
110 Pounds of Marijuana and $1.1 million in Cannabis Extract Were Discovered
Th search turned up 110 pounds of raw marijuana in sealed packages, 3,500 marijuana seeds, vials of hash oil, and 25 pounds of shatter. Officers report this may be the largest amount of shatter confiscated at once. Not surprisingly, the individual was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver. His companion, who was traveling in another vehicle, only had a small amount for personal use on him, but was charged with aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. To be clear, the raw marijuana alone could result in as many as 20 years behind bars, but the sale or intended sale of hash and concentrates, if done as separate charges, could also carry as many as 20 years.
This case “is likely to become the poster child of Oregon’s cannabis industry for cannabis opponents nationwide,” says activist Johnny Green. “If you own a licensed, regulated cannabis company, please do not take cannabis across the country. It gives a black eye to the entire industry,” he urges.
Retain a Skilled Omaha Defense Attorney
The damage to public opinion cases like this cause is difficult to quantify. It may well slow or stall the progress activists throughout the country have been fighting for. However, cases like this can be fought and won in court. Omaha defense attorney Daniel Stockmann has homed in his practice and focuses entirely on challenging cases regarding drug charges, specifically marijuana, and has a successful track record which unequivocally indicates there is hope even in the most dire circumstances. If you or someone you care about is facing charges related to marijuana in Nebraska, you will need an expert Omaha defense attorney like Mr. Stockmann to protect your rights and defend your freedom. Call (844) 906-0641 to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Stockmann today.