Consumer Protection Division
Cozad, Neb. — Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson hosted a mobile office in Cozad on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Besides meeting with local citizens and officials, he talked with the Rural Radio Network about the functions of his office and some current issues:
Peterson spent time meeting with area students, the Cozad Rotary Club and local officials. He also talked about the Consumer Protection Division and Constituent Services he has within his office…
“In the ‘Office for a Day,’ we do a lot of preventive training of how to avoid being a victim of scams…we have a great web page called ‘Protect the Good Life’ which gives people information on what they can do to protect themselves against scams or how they can report it.”
Peterson says another service within the Consumer Protection Division is the Mediation Center which is a feature available to people who feel they’ve been defrauded by a company or business to seek help from people in his office in mediating the dispute.
Nebraska AG promotes TeamMates Mentoring
Attorney General Peterson strongly promotes a program that he says makes a big difference in the lives of youth….
TeamMates is a one-to-one school-based mentoring program that according to most recent statistics has about 10,000 mentor-mentee pairings and has chapters in five states. While in Cozad, Peterson also met with law enforcement and county attorneys.
Opioids: A Big Concern
Attorney General Peterson says when it comes to opioids, the data doesn’t support that Nebraska has a crisis, but strides have been taken to deal with the problem…
“But what we did three years ago is we started started a coalition…and a coalition with the University of Nebraska Med Center, the U.S. Attorneys Office and the law enforcement connected to the U.S. Attorneys Office and also with the Governor working through Public Health and we tried to do basically a three-part approach to the opioid crisis…prevention programs, treatment programs and law enforcement.”
Peterson is encouraged by the progress made by the coalition and in working to build awareness in the medical community…
Peterson has not pursued a lawsuit seeking to hold any opioid manufacturers, or pharmaceutical companies accountable for damages caused by the opioid crisis, but he has not ruled that option out. Peterson says Nebraska is part of a multi-state action and if there is a settlement through that, the state could use the proceeds to focus on the opioid problem.
Methamphetamine: A Bigger Concern
While opioid abuse is of great concern to Peterson, he’s not rushed to get involved in lawsuits to hold opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies accountable. Peterson
says opioids are a problem, but another drug is a bigger problem…
Peterson says meth is destructive to families and communities and is pretty much a statewide problem. 48 states have sued to recover damages from the opioid crisis, but Nebraska has not. Peterson’s view that opioids are less of a problem in Nebraska than some other drugs seems to be borne out in the numbers — It’s opioid-related death rate in 2017 was the lowest of all states.
Nebraska AG not a fan of medical marijuana or THC vaping
Lexington, Neb. — Nebraska’s Attorney General isn’t in favor of medical marijuana and don’t expect him to change his mind anytime soon. Doug Peterson says if it can pass all the testing that legitimate prescription drugs go through, so be it. But until then, he’s not in favor of it…
Peterson is very concerned that THC products are finding their way into vaping products that teens are getting hold of and believes it’s going to become a big public health concern. He says the evidence is in the number of seizures on Interstate-80 that involve THC “pods” used for vaping. The first Nebraska death related to severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes or vaping was recently reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The person was over 65 and from the Douglas County area. Public health officials said the death occurred in May.
Election Commissioners should be elected, not appointed
Peterson says his office recently issued an opinion that the long-time method of choosing election commissioners for Nebraska’s most populous counties is “constitutionally suspect…”
In the opinion, Peterson concluded that election commissioners and chief deputy election commissioners are county officers and, therefore, under the Nebraska Constitution, must be elected to their positions. The opinion raises concerns about a state law requiring the governor to appoint election officials for Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy Counties, the Nebraska counties with more than 100,000 residents.
Nebraska Attorney General:
To contact the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office:
Phone: (402) 471-2683
Fax: (402) 471-3297