History of CBD and Cannabis: Nebraska
Despite strict regulation against all forms of cannabis, the first industrial hemp crops cultivated in the United States were from Nebraska. For over a century since 1887, Nebraska was one of the most major centers of hemp growth throughout the Midwest.
Hemp crops went on to fulfill the need for wartime composites, breathable fabrics, and nutritious food supplements throughout the entire region. However, demand declined following World War II, causing a massive decrease in hemp production in Nebraska.
However, cannabis sales and use were restricted far before the start of the war.
Cannabis, CBD, and Nebraska
In the early twentieth century, many states were beginning to restrict consumer access to cannabis due to the influence of nationwide campaigns. All over the country, health officials were stating that “Indian Hemp” caused violence, insanity, and family problems.
By the late twenties, Nebraska fully restricted cannabis access, only allowing use with a doctor’s prescription. It would take another forty years for the law to budge in favor of decriminalization or legalization at all.
During the sixties, the state legislature exhibited a slight change in heart. Decreasing state revenue and increasing strain of drug-related arrests prompted officials to ease penalties for first time possession. Soon enough, marijuana use was decriminalized for all possession offenses – even carrying large amounts of the substance can only incur a seven-day prison stay.
Interestingly, Nebraska has been one of the largest intrastate enemies to cannabis legalization.
In the year following legalization in neighboring Colorado, Nebraska saw arrest rates for cannabis possession climb by over ten percent. In 2013 alone, the state spent over 10.2 million more than the year before in marijuana arrests, indictments, and increased policing along the border.
Exorbitant costs prompted the state of Nebraska and Oklahoma to team up in a lawsuit against Colorado. Both states argued it caused financial stress to deal with the fallout of Colorado’s legalization and wanted to reverse the state’s law.
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court denied further action, arguing that Colorado had not done anything illegal by challenging federal law with statewide legalization.
Since then, there have been several failed attempts to legalize recreational and medical cannabis. In 2016, the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act was blocked by a filibuster in the Senate, causing it to miss out on three key votes needed to advance.
As residents continue to shift in favor of pro cannabis and CBD policy, the legislature will be forced to adapt. Experts believe that reclaiming the industrial hemp industry could become an enormous source of statewide revenue.