(1) The department and the Division of Drug Control shall carry out educational programs designed to prevent and deter misuse and abuse of controlled substances. In connection with such programs they may: (a) Promote better recognition of the problems of misuse and abuse of controlled substances within the regulated industry and among interested groups and organizations; (b) assist the regulated industry and interested groups and organizations in contributing to the reduction of misuse and abuse of controlled substances; (c) consult with interested groups and organizations to aid them in solving administrative and organizational problems; (d) evaluate procedures, projects, techniques, and controls conducted or proposed as part of educational programs on misuse and abuse of controlled substances; (e) disseminate the results of research on misuse and abuse of controlled substances to promote a better public understanding of what problems exist and what can be done to combat them; and (f) assist in the education and training of state and local law enforcement officials in their efforts to control misuse and abuse of controlled substances.
(2) The department may encourage research on misuse and abuse of controlled substances. In connection with such research and in furtherance of the enforcement of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, it may: (a) Establish methods to assess accurately the effects of controlled substances and to identify and characterize controlled substances with potential for abuse; (b) make studies and undertake programs of research to (i) develop new or improved approaches, techniques, systems, equipment, and devices to strengthen the enforcement of the act, (ii) determine patterns of misuse and abuse of controlled substances and the social effects thereof, and (iii) improve methods for preventing, predicting, understanding, and dealing with the misuse and abuse of controlled substances; and (c) enter into contracts with public agencies, institutions of higher education, and private organizations or individuals for the purpose of conducting research, demonstrations, or special projects which bear directly on misuse and abuse of controlled substances.
(3) The department may enter into contracts for educational and research activities without performance bonds.
(4) The department shall cooperate with the Division of Drug Control providing technical advice and information, including all evidence of violations of the act disclosed by drug accountability inspections. The criminalistics laboratory of the Nebraska State Patrol shall provide laboratory analysis for the Division of Drug Control and other peace officers of this state when requested for the effective administration and enforcement of the act.
(5) The department may authorize persons engaged in research on the use and effects of controlled substances to withhold the names and other identifying characteristics of persons who are subjects of such research. Persons who obtain such authorization may not be compelled in any state, civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding to identify the subjects of research for which such authorization was obtained.
(6) The department may authorize the possession and distribution of controlled substances by persons engaged in research. Persons who obtain this authorization shall be exempt from state prosecution for possession and distribution of controlled substances to the extent authorized by the department.