Senator Justin Wayne introduces bill to decriminalize Marijuana
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - While several legislative hearings relate to legalizing medical marijuana, one state senator is hoping to take a smaller step by simply decriminalizing it.
On Thursday before a judiciary committee, Senator Justin Wayne of District 13 introduced LB22, a bill that would simply decriminalize the use or possession of marijuana.
Since 2019, 322 people have been sentenced to a correctional facility all, or in part from a marijuana-related offense. But that number doesn’t sit right with Wayne.
”What’s interesting about that number, is if you break down that number a little further, you’ll find it’s a 4 to 1 ratio of African Americans over all other ethnicities,” said Wayne. “There still seems to be some sort of disparity that exists.”
Many proponent testifiers supported the bill due to possible state revenue increases, and some claim the war on drugs was created to target minorities.
The Nebraska State Patrol opposed the bill, citing examples like high numbers of cannabis-related traffic deaths in marijuana-legal states. They also claim they would need to spend over $100,000 to train new drug detection dogs that wouldn’t alert for marijuana.
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