Colorado Marijuana Law Impacts Nebraska - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Colorado Marijuana Law Impacts Nebraska

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People in Colorado are paying for pot. After our neighboring state legalized marijuana many Nebraskans are concerned with how that will affect our state. With the rocky mountain state bordering us people are worried it will become more prevalent here while others are hoping this change in law will persuade Nebraska legislators to do the same.

"Our biggest concern is youth of course and youth prevention. With it being easier access to marijuana that close we are worried about more youth using it. Younger kids start the more problem that they will have and more likely they are to develop an addiction," said Michelle Schultz a coordinator for Grand Island Substance abuse prevention coalition.

Another concern is people driving to get the drug and then driving impaired. Using the drug can be life altering.  "Your brain is not fully developed till 25 years of age so anytime you're putting any chemical in your brain like marijuana it retards the growth of your brain and it permanently causes brain damage you don't get a do over. Or oh I was stupid I made a mistake now I'm older I realize it's bad so those cells don't grow back," said Sandi Rodeman who works for Grand Island Substance abuse prevention coalition.

The Grand Island substance abuse prevention coalition wants parents to get involved and talk to their kids about marijuana. "The THC levels in marijuana are a lot different than back in the 70's. Something that will affect them for the rest of their lives," said Schultz.

Members of H.E.M.P, Helping End Misguided Prohibition think people scared of marijuana are out of touch with reality. "The prohibition of marijuana is unconstitutional because there is no amendment in the U.S. constitution like there was for alcohol," said Len Schropfer a member of H.E.M.P.

The H.E.M.P group are petitioning and trying to legalize marijuana on the 2014 ballot in Nebraska after it failed in 2012. "Our supposed leaders surely they can see what's happening in Colorado that it does work it adds to the revenue and so forth," said Schropfer.

"Colorado is a lot different than Nebraska and I don't see our laws changing in the foreseeable future," said State Senator Galen Hadley. Senator Hadley did however say there might be a push for medical use.

"The attitude towards marijuana is pretty lax and I think in a big part of the country not in Nebraska and I hope it stays that way. I hope Nebraska stands firm," said Rodeman.

"Go ahead and go over there have a good time. Telling people we don't want to lose you to Colorado, I don't want everybody to move to Colorado absolutely not. We just have to follow their example and follow through here," said Schropfer.

 Senator Hadley did mention a capacity problem in our prisons. He said we don't want to fill up our jails with non–violent pot smokers so there could be a change in sentencing or how we deal with offenders.

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