NEBRASKANS COULD VOTE ON MEDICAL CANNABIS UNDER CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED IN LEGISLATURE

Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln introduced Legislative Resolution 293CA on Thursday, saying Nebraskans who find that cannabis eases their pain and suffering should not be forced across state lines or be treated like criminals. A bill introduced by Wishart last year that would have legalized medical cannabis drew opposition from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol, among others. It takes 30 votes from lawmakers to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Last year Wishart introduced LB622, the Medical Cannabis Act, which would have authorized a limited number of growers, processors and distribution centers to provide medical cannabis for people suffering from 19 different medical conditions. That bill is currently on general file. When the bill went before a committee last year, the Attorney General’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol and other high-ranking law enforcement authorities, and the state’s top medical doctor were all opposed to the bill. Opponents argued that the federal Food and Drug Administration should be the one making the decision about medical marijuana, not the Nebraska Legislature. They also argued that more research needs to be done on medical marijuana. Others argue that many activists see medical marijuana as the first step toward broader legalization. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states allow broad access to medical marijuana and 17 allow limited uses.