Nebraska

U.S.: Nebraska, Oklahoma AGs File Lawsuit To Overturn Colorado Marijuana Legalization

JonBruning(NebraskaAttorneyGeneral)

Colorado Attorney General says ‘suit is without merit and [his office] will vigorously defend against it’

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning on Thursday announced that he has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Colorado’s laws that legalize, regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. He said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is also joining the lawsuit, which alleges the state constitutional amendment approved by Colorado voters and the implementing legislation approved by state lawmakers is unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“We agree with the Colorado Attorney General’s opinion that this suit is without merit," said Mason Tvert, the Denver-based communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) who co-directed the 2012 Colorado marijuana initiative campaign. "This is a classic case of a solution in search of a problem."

"They are wasting Nebraska and Oklahoma taxpayers’ dollars by filing this suit, and they’re forcing Coloradans to pick up the bill for defending ourselves against it," Tvert ssaid. "Colorado's top law enforcement officials have better things to do, and you’d think their counterparts in Nebraska and Oklahoma would as well.

“These guys are on the wrong side of history," Tvert said. "They will be remembered similarly to how we think of state officials who fought to maintain alcohol prohibition years after other states ended it.

Nebraska: No Industrial Hemp Crop This Year; Maybe Next Time?

HempFieldNebraska

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nebraska won't be harvesting a legal hemp crop this fall, despite the Legislature's passage of a law allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp for research. State bureaucrats at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture are still working on the rules.

The bill in question, LB 1001, tasked the state agriculture department with devising rules and regulations for hemp cultivation in the Cornhusker State, reports Nicholas Bergin at the Lincoln Journal Star. The department is still researching hemp programs in other states, but won't have their ducks -- or maybe I should say hemp plants -- in a row in time for spring planting.

"There will be no hemp research projects initiated under a program this year," said spokeswoman Christin Kamm of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Kamm didn't say when the first crop might be planted.

The industrial hemp bill, which passed overwhelmingly on a 39-2 vote, will allow the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, a variety of cannabis that unlike recreational marijuana does not contain enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to produce a high.

Nebraska: Senate hopefuls focus on ethanol

By Kristin Jirovsky/Daily Sun

LINCOLN -- The three Nebraska U.S. Senate candidates discussed their views on ethanol as a renewable fuel source Thursday during a forum at the Mary Riepma-Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

Before the forum, Mike Johanns, Scott Kleeb and Steve Larrick watched with several Lincolnites a video entitled, “The Ethanol Maze.” The film was a project completed by students of a depth reporting journalism class taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Each prospective senator then took his turn to share views on ethanol as an option for alternative fuel.

Kleeb, a Democrat, was up first, saying he is a supporter of using corn-based ethanol for alternative fuel.

“This debate is going to be increasingly important,” Kleeb said.

Most of all, Kleeb said that ethanol should be the first piece of the puzzle in reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Kleeb posed a question to the event attendees. In 2005, the energy bill was passed that promised a lessened dependence on foreign oil and lower prices for fuel.

“Which of these have we gotten?” he said.

“I do think we need to have higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles,” he said.

Green Party candidate Steve Larrick stepped up to the podium next.

“I like the open discussion the film provided,” he said. “We do need to look at all of the issues.”

Larrick went to a more “green” side of the debate. He said the best thing to do is look at the options for cellulosic ethanol.

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