Thirty-three states have legalized the use and sale of medical marijuana since 1996, but if it’s up to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts his state won’t be joining the ranks anytime soon.
Nebraska is one of four states – along with Idaho, Kansas and South Dakota – that doesn’t have any sort of medical-use law. Thirteen other states only allow the use of CBD products.
A bill currently in the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee, LB 110 (Adopt the Medical Cannabis Act), would legalize access. Sen. Anna Wishart, who introduced it in January, calls the legislation “one of the best public health models in the country when it comes to medical cannabis.”
GOV. PETE RICKETTS: “I will work with Senators to safeguard public health and stop LB 110 from becoming law.”
Another option is an initiative backed by Wishart, fellow Senator Adam Morfield and the advocacy group Nebraskans for Sensible Drug Laws for a 2020 popular vote. A signature drive to get it on the ballot has begun. “We have a really long runway to do this,” Wishart says. “They’ll be due the beginning of July next year.”
On April 29, the Republican governor explained why he opposes efforts to legalize medical marijuana in the Cornhusker State:
“Early in the session, the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing on LB 110, which will broadly legalize marijuana, ostensibly for medical use, by allowing people to grow marijuana in their own homes for any ailment. The truth about ‘medical’ marijuana is that doctors cannot prescribe it and pharmacists cannot distribute it. That means both production and distribution are unregulated and left to multinational companies who have financial incentive to distribute high-potency, addictive marijuana.
“Nebraska has seen how marijuana legalization has wreaked havoc in other states. Just last November, Missouri legalized ‘medical’ marijuana. By February, Missouri was flooded with marijuana candy that was packaged to market to kids. For example ‘Stoney Patch Kids’ are packaged like Sour Patch Kids. Add to that the increase in traffic accidents and fatalities around the country due to stoned driving, and it is clear it’s a big risk to Nebraska’s families. While the bill has not advanced from committee yet, the committee may still bring it back. I will work with Senators to safeguard public health and stop LB 110 from becoming law.”
Ironically, Nebraska is among the 14 states with decriminalization laws. The law passed in 1978.
Check out NORML’s guide to marijuana Laws & Penalties in Nebraska.
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