People in Colorado are paying for pot. After our neighboringstate legalized marijuana many Nebraskans are concerned with how that willaffect our state. With the rocky mountain state bordering us people are worriedit will become more prevalent here while others are hoping this change in lawwill persuade Nebraska legislators to do the same.
"Our biggest concernis youth of course and youth prevention. With it being easier access tomarijuana that close we are worried about more youth using it. Younger kidsstart the more problem that they will have and more likely they are to developan addiction," said Michelle Schultz a coordinator for Grand IslandSubstance abuse prevention coalition.
Another concern is people driving to get the drug and thendriving impaired. Using the drug can be life altering. "Your brain is not fully developed till25 years of age so anytime you're putting any chemical in your brain likemarijuana it retards the growth of your brain and it permanently causes brain damageyou don't get a do over. Or oh I was stupid I made a mistake now I'm older Irealize it's bad so those cells don't grow back," said Sandi Rodeman whoworks for Grand Island Substance abuse prevention coalition.
The Grand Island substance abuse prevention coalition wantsparents to get involved and talk to their kids about marijuana. "The THC levelsin marijuana are a lot different than back in the 70's. Something that willaffect them for the rest of their lives," said Schultz.
Members of H.E.M.P, Helping End Misguided Prohibition think peoplescared of marijuana are out of touch with reality. "The prohibition ofmarijuana is unconstitutional because there is no amendment in the U.S.constitution like there was for alcohol," said Len Schropfer a member ofH.E.M.P.
The H.E.M.P group are petitioning and trying to legalize marijuanaon the 2014 ballot in Nebraska after it failed in 2012. "Our supposed leaderssurely they can see what's happening in Colorado that it does work it adds tothe revenue and so forth," said Schropfer.
"Colorado is a lot different than Nebraska and I don'tsee our laws changing in the foreseeable future," said State Senator GalenHadley. Senator Hadley did however say there might be a push for medical use.
"The attitude towards marijuana is pretty lax and Ithink in a big part of the country not in Nebraska and I hope it stays thatway. I hope Nebraska stands firm," said Rodeman.
"Go ahead and go over there have a good time. Tellingpeople we don't want to lose you to Colorado, I don't want everybody to move toColorado absolutely not. We just have to follow their example and followthrough here," said Schropfer.
Senator Hadley didmention a capacity problem in our prisons. He said we don't want to fill up ourjails with non–violent pot smokers so there could be a change in sentencing orhow we deal with offenders.