When it comes to the progressional and decriminalization of cannabis, Nebraska has been on the front lines. While the state has yet to legalize the recreational us of cannabis, Nebraska was one of the first 21 states to not judge first-time offenders or those possessing a small amount of cannabis with jail time. Instead, those found with up to an ounce of marijuana will face a $300 fine. Those facing a second offense can be fined up to $400 with five days in jail and those found possessing marijuana for a third time can receive up to a week in jail and a fine of $500. While the offenses may come with some jail time, second and third defenses are currently viewed as misdemeanors and not arrestable offenses.

While the state may be making progress in terms of decriminalization, Nebraska continues to be one of the few states that prohibit medical marijuana. However, in 2017 a new bill will be reviewed regarding the approval of medicinal marijuana within the state of Nebraska.

If the bill is approved patients suffering from conditions defined by the state will be allowed to purchase medicinal marijuana through state-registered dispensaries. Unfortunately, the bill will not allow the smoking or home cultivation of marijuana for card carriers if passed. While further details regarding the development of these laws have not been established, the bill would provide thousands of patients with much-needed relief.

This will be the second time the ballot for medical marijuana is up for review, with the first bill resulting in 30 of 49 lawmakers in favor.

While this historic ballot gears up to change lives for many Nebraska citizens, it's important for all advocates to stay up to date on any progress and to motivate their senate to consider those that need medicinal care.