NET News Examines Nebraska’s Next Move in “Marijuana Crossroads”

News Release Date: 
November 13, 2013

For Immediate Release

NET News Examines Nebraska’s Next Move in “Marijuana Crossroads”

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nov. 13, 2013) -- As more states legalize medical marijuana, routine traffic stops often turn into marijuana busts along Interstate 80 in Nebraska. The quality, the quantity and even public acceptance of marijuana are on the rise, putting Nebraska at a crossroads. NET News explores the growing legal marijuana industry and the consequences for Nebraska in the new documentary “Marijuana Crossroads,” premiering Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. CT on NET1.

In addition to the 30-minute television special, a three-part radio series  about the implications of changing marijuana laws will air as the daily “Signature Story” on NET Radio from Nov. 20-22. “Signature Stories” air on NET Radio at 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. CT and 4:30 p.m. CT.

Near where Interstate 80 merges with Interstate 76 in Deuel County, Nebraska, felony and misdemeanor marijuana cases have increased five-fold in the past five years. More and more local law enforcement officials believe the increasing amount of trafficking is an issue the entire state must now consider.

“The folks in Nebraska, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming, they didn’t vote for this. But, their supply is being increased by what’s going on in Colorado,” said John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General.

Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in Nebraska. While federal law lists it as an illegal substance, voters in 20 states have decided to allow the sale of medical marijuana. In Colorado, where medical marijuana is already legal, citizens voted to legalize recreational use beginning in 2014. New technologies are making it possible to mass produce marijuana plants, and entrepreneurs in Colorado are infusing the drug into a variety of products that make marijuana consumption possible for non-smokers.

In his work on “Marijuana Crossroads,” NET News producer Bill Kelly compiled Nebraska crime statistics revealing arrests for sales and distribution of marijuana increased nearly 40 percent since 2007. He discovered few public officials in Nebraska have begun a policy discussion about how to respond to the changing role of marijuana in America.

“Our highest policy leaders are as of yet, not having the discussion,” said Ally Dering-Anderson, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.

Kelly conducted interviews with people who grow and dispense marijuana, and those who use the drug for medical purposes, including a diabetic man who moved to Colorado so he could legally use marijuana to treat his symptoms, and a Cambridge, Neb., woman who also uses it to control her blood sugar levels. Kelly also investigated how Colorado has built a system of regulation for marijuana, interviewing law enforcement and health officials tasked with keeping track of the drug.

“Marijuana Crossroads” repeats Monday, Nov. 25, at 10 p.m. CT and Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. CT on NET1.

NET1 is part of NET Television, a service of NET. For more information about NET programming, visit netNebraska.org and click on television.

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Program contact: William Kelly, 402-472-9333, ext. 484, or e-mail wkelly@netNebraska.org

Release written by: Kim Rogers, 402-472-9333, ext. 512, or e-mail krogers@netNebraska.org

NET Television:

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