Yesterday, a 53-year old man in Omaha loaned his car to one of his adult children. After they returned the vehicle, the man used the car to do some grocery shopping. After he returned home and was unloading the car, he discovered a small package containing what appeared to be scrumptious chocolate brownies. Perhaps the man assumed his adult kid left the brownies as payment for use of the car. Maybe he was simply hungry. In either case, the as yet unidentified father who scarfed down four of the tasty treats probably did not know that the yummy brown squares he was so happily eating were actually pot brownies.
Some time later that evening, the man’s wife noticed her husband behaving rather strangely. Despite being full of delicious chocolaty goodness, the middle aged man was acting anxious, crawling on the floor, and cussing. He called a perfectly nice family cat “a b***h,” according to the Omaha World-Herald. The man’s wife dialed the child who’d borrowed the car earlier in the day, hoping to find out if anything untoward was baked into the mouthwatering confections. The phone call was fruitless, but another grown child arrived at the family house and revealed that the little chocolate cakes belonged to a different sibling and were, indeed, pot brownies.
The Omaha World-Herald does not explain who called the paramedics. An ambulance arrived at the home near Maple and 90th Streets around 9:45 p.m,, and an emergency responder examined the man who was as baked as the pot brownies he ate. Although the man admitted to feeling as if he were “tripping,” his vital signs were normal. A rescue tech offered the pot-eater a ride to the hospital. The ride was declined, and the ambulance went on its way.
Best headline. Better story.https://t.co/obLvPd5B8F— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) August 17, 2016
What’s the deal with weed in Nebraska?
The Omaha dad who inadvertently ate pot brownies is lucky that paramedics came to his house, and not the local constabulary. Nebraska boasts some of the harshest and most unrealistic marijuana laws in the United States. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, a person caught for the first time holding an ounce or less of reefer in Omaha may be subjected to a $300 fine. For a second possession offense, the penalty is a $500 fine. Third-time hemp offenders can be fined $500 and sentenced to a week in jail.
In Nebraska, sale of any amount of cannabis is considered a felony. A first-time offender can be fined as much as $25,000 and be sentenced to prison for up to 20 years for selling any amount of weed. In Nebraska, the possession or sale of cannabis paraphernalia is also against the law. NORML notes that a person caught with, say, a roach clip or a bong, can be fined $100. If that person gets caught selling the same items, they can be fined $1,000 and sent to jail for six months.
Although the Omaha pot brownie dad consumed the evidence, he could still have been arrested for crawling around on the floor, behaving weirdly, and harassing the family cat. Nebraska Revised Statute 28-417 states the following about acting high.
“To be under the influence of any controlled substance for a purpose other than the treatment of a sickness or injury as prescribed or administered by a practitioner. In a prosecution under this subdivision, it shall not be necessary for the state to prove that the accused was under the influence of any specific controlled substance, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subdivision for the state to prove that the accused was under the influence of some controlled substance by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled substance.”
By all accounts, the dad who devoured pot brownies by mistake is expected to make a complete recovery after enjoying a nice, long nap. Whether or not his cat forgives him remains to be seen.
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