Nebraska not feeling CO's marijuana industry

Posted at 5:32 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 18:42:07-04
Douglas County is 350 miles from the Colorado state line.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office seized so much marijuana from the Rocky Mountain state, they're running out of places to put it.
In 2012, Colorado voters approved an amendment legalizing recreational marijuana. 
Since then the amount of marijuana seized by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office continues to grow.
Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler says they're on par to seizing about 1,500 pounds by the end of the year, about 75 percent of that, he says, is from Colorado.
"We certainly need more space to store this marijuana,” Wheeler said.
Deputies patrolling I-80 seized 289 pounds in 2012, 638 in 2013, 705 in 2014 and 500 pounds since January. 
Nebraska Center for Justice Research Dr. Ryan Spohn says Colorado's legalized pot rose Nebraska's law enforcement costs more $1 million from 2013 to 2014.
The most important thing is, the sky isn't falling,” Spohn said. “Materially for the entire state, I think there are people who are out there saying Colorado is going to be the ‘death nail of the state of Nebraska’ and that's not true.”
While Wheeler makes a clear connection to Colorado, Dr. Spohn says he didn't expect a county 350 miles from the Rocky Mountain state to be impacted enough to fill an evidence room with weed.
"That's somewhat surprising to me, but I think if you looked at multiple years of data, the 200 might be an anomaly,” Spohn said.
UNO and the Nebraska Center for Justice Researchers say marijuana arrests rose 11 percent statewide between 2013 and 2014.
The highest arrest rates were in counties along the Colorado border, the panhandle and across I-80.