Should Nebraska legalize marijuana?

A group of demonstrators took to the State Capitol steps Monday afternoon in hopes of making strides in legalizing marijuana.

About 20 people gathered to promote making marijuana legal for both medicinal as well as industrial uses.  They hope to take their cause to the Nebraska Pharmaceutical Board.

With signs and a message,  they came together to support legalizing marijuana.  The group, H.EM.P. or Helping End Misguided Prohibition is a Nebraska-based group working to legalize the cannabis plant since April and provide information to the public.  The group is a grass roots organization that is working to educate the state of Nebraska and the citizens on the benefits of the cannabis plant both medicinal and industrial.

Bill Hawkins, the group's director, says cannabis can be used for things like shoes, clothing, lotion and candles. He believes letting farmers grow the plant would benefit our economy.

Attorney Ralph Smith agrees marijuana should be legalized for medical use, he disagrees with the way groups like HEMP Nebraska rally to get the word out.  He represents a group called “Patients Out of Time” and talks to hospitals about the benefits of this plant.

The pharmaceutical board meets next week.  However, one board members says the issue should start with the legislature. Two state senators have said legalizing marijuana won't happen in Nebraska pointing to a possible increase in crime.