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Nebraska Medical Marijuana Bill Dies

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SDM News
SDM News
 2021-05-17

A bill to authorize and firmly control clinical cannabis was shut down in the Nebraska Legislature on Wednesday, making way for a substantially less prohibitive polling form measure with a decent possibility of passing.
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Allies of the bill fell two votes short of the 33 they needed to break a delay and make officials decide on it. The 31-18 vote shocked no one, as administrators have more than once dismissed legalization requests, however the approaching ballot measure could leave Nebraska with a strangely liberal clinical marijuana law.

Allies said the bill would have given Nebraska one of the country's most traditional clinical cannabis laws, and they vowed to take the issue to electors. Medical marijuana ballot drives have commonly been effective in different states, and it's generally accepted that Nebraska would see a similar outcome.

“No amount of money or opposition is going to silence the people of Nebraska on this issue,” said Lincoln Sen. Anna Wishart, the bill’s main sponsor.

Wishart said she created the bill to give legislators "one last chance" to support something that they can handle before sponsors convey the message to citizens in 2022. She said her bill had been so adulterated from past forms that she's gotten pushback from legitimization advocates and individuals who might be prohibited from getting the medication.

“It’s time to accept the fact that this is the last train out of town if you want to regulate this,” said another supporter, Sen. Steve Lathrop, of Omaha. 

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The bill would have authorized the medicine for clinical purposes, only for 17 illnesses and diseases, including PTSD, glaucoma and cancer. Smokable pot would have stayed unlawful, and the state would have restricted the quantity of dispensaries and expected specialists to get additional teaching before they could prescribe it to patients. Patients would have been banned from developing their own stock or having more than 2.5 grams on them, and the individuals who disregarded the law would have been excluded from the program permanently.

Focus has now shifted to a ballot request event that would provide a legal right to prescribe cannabis for clinical reasons, with no other limitations. Allies deftly qualified clinical cannabis for the ballot in 2020 — gathering 196,000 supporters in the midst of the Covid pandemic — however the Nebraska Supreme Court stopped it on a detail that the supporters said they've managed to fix.

Rivals contended that weed still remains contraband according to federal law, despite the fact that almost all other states permit some kinds of exceptions. Others saw it as a sure path to legalising it for public use and are concerned about the effect on general wellbeing. Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts is also completely against it. 

"All of this to me is a gateway,” said Sen. Joni Albrecht, of Thurston. “I’m not going to stand here and develop a policy when I just don’t know what it’s going to do to people.” 

Sen. Curt Friesen, of Henderson, said he thinks electors would endorse a sanctioning measure on the off chance that it goes to the ballot. However, he said he doesn't believe that state officials should be the ones to conclude whether it's safe for clinical use or not. 

“I think people need to be educated as to what the dangers are,” he added.

Sen. Matt Williams, of Gothenburg, said he's not in disbelief of general opinions which are in support of the legalization, however a large number of his constituents have revealed that they're against it.

“In my district, I’ve been sent a clear message,” he said.

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