Bordering Counties to Colorado Seeing the Brunt of Marijuana Busts


As Colorado gains a green law, Nebraskan's are putting the cuffs on smugglers. It's been half a year since our neighboring state legalized recreational marijuana and while the Nebraska State Patrol says they aren't making more busts, there are more happening in those counties along the Colorado border.

"I'm sure over time we are going to see more use and more arrests," said Perkins County Sheriff James Brueggeman.

The bordering counties to Colorado are seeing more green than any other parts of Nebraska.

"I have talked to other officers from out west who believe it has had a huge impact, a huge increase in number of their arrests," said Kearney officer Pat McLaughlin.

Keith County jail has been overflowing with inmates that they have to send elsewhere; of course not all are marijuana related cases.

Most busts are from traffic stops but not all of them. "We did have a case here recently where deputies served a search warrant and took down marijuana grow operation here in Perkins County. We are also running into cases where individuals have the e–cigarettes with hash oil in them," explained Sheriff Brueggeman.

As bordering counties have their hands full, the state patrol is getting a bit of a break. They've seen a decrease statewide in the amount of marijuana being brought into the state from a year ago.

McLaughlin hopes it stays that way. "We as Nebraskans should oppose any efforts to legalize it, we should push for stronger consequences because realistically you take your ticket and you go pay your fine. Did you learn anything?”

McLaughlin believes smoking a smidge of pot will bring other problems down the line."It's a drug, and like any drug it has that tendency to lead towards other drugs. In my opinion it is a gateway drug so if you're a parent and say well marijuana is better than methamphetamines, is it? You may never know."

He adds parents need to be aware and take action, even giving their kids over-the-counter drug tests. "Whether the state says its illegal or not, if you’re a parent and you don't oppose it, if your willingly allow your kid to go out and to be exposed to marijuana or use marijuana, then look in the mirror in five years when you have an addict for a son or daughter."

Of course, possession of marijuana is still illegal in Nebraska. Having less than an ounce of it can result in a $100 fine plus court costs, more than an ounce is considered a misdemeanor resulting in harsher consequences.