- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Possession of a pot brownie will result in a fine in most of Nebraska, but it could land you in jail in some western counties.

Some counties near Colorado are treating marijuana extracts used in food as a Schedule I drug. The possession of such drugs is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1JRUned ).

In most parts of the state, simple possession of marijuana carries a $300 fine for the first offense, with no jail time.

Deuel County Sheriff Adam Hayworth said he and others are deferring to a prosecutor’s opinion.

“The law says that it is a felony. We don’t have a choice,” said Hayward, whose deputies roam the roads around Chappell, just north of the Nebraska-Colorado state line. “We’re not the federal government and can pick and choose what we want to enforce.”

Not every pot brownie is a felony. Home-baked pastries that contain actual marijuana plants, instead of an extract, would still be treated like regular marijuana, said Jon Stellar, the deputy county attorney who handles most drug cases in Deuel and Cheyenne counties.

But these days, lawmen in the Panhandle are seeing mostly commercially made snacks that are cooked with chemical extracts.

Stellar said his office was on track in May to nearly triple its number of felony marijuana cases over the prior year, and many of those were for possession of edibles that contain hashish, or purified marijuana extract.

Most of those cases were pleaded down to misdemeanors, Stellar said, but everyone went to jail at first.

Nebraska state Sen. Al Davis of Hyannis said he plans to introduce a bill when the Legislature convenes next month that would require law enforcement to treat marijuana edibles the same as regular pot. Davis is still working out details of his legislation.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com



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