Editorial Roundup: Nebraska

North Platte Telegraph. February 19, 2023.

Editorial: Please help us win Canteen Gold Medal

The quest has resumed for the ultimate honor for North Platte’s 1941-46 World War II Canteen.

Bills to collectively award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Canteen’s wartime volunteers and 125 Honor Roll communities have been reintroduced in the Senate and House.

All five Nebraska members of Congress are aboard. So are both senators from Colorado, home to half a dozen Honor Roll towns.

Political Cartoons

We have a request for anyone, anywhere, who has Canteen volunteers or customers in their families or simply admires what took place here:

Please write or email your members of Congress. And ask friends and relatives in other states to urge their senators and representatives to back the Gold Medal.

Tell them about the 6 million service members and families served here, men and women, of every color and creed. And the 55,000 people who served them, driving up to 200 miles and more one way, amid wartime rationing.

May the Gold Medal be a fitting sendoff to those of our Greatest Generation who together created our finest hour on the High Plains.

Lincoln Journal Star. February 15, 2023.

Editorial: Legislature needs to figure out medical marijuana

Neither medical marijuana nor its supporters are going away. The best efforts by opponents to quell the issue have only kicked the can down the proverbial road.

It is time for the Nebraska Legislature, after years of consideration, to take action on medical marijuana. If they don’t, the people — through initiated measure — will.

Put simply, it’s time for the Legislature to put together sensible legislation that solves the issues.

Sen. Anna Wishart, who has championed the issue during her time as a state lawmaker representing west Lincoln and parts of Lancaster County, told the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee last week that she was ready to try again, this time with a bill (LB588) that largely revives language narrowly defeated two years ago allowing for the cultivation, processing and use of cannabis for medical purposes.

“I’ve spent the past six years going across the state, meeting with people from all different counties,” Wishart said. “You would be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t benefit from medical cannabis or knows someone who wouldn’t benefit from medical cannabis” — including many who have testified, parents of children with epilepsy or other neurological disorders or patients who suffer from chronic pain.

The public has shown its support. A 2020 petition drive to put the issue on the ballot gathered sufficient signatures but was disallowed because the petition language was deemed in violation of state law.

Last year, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana lost much of its funding and, despite a late flurry of signatures gathered, fell short of qualifying for the ballot.

Wishart’s bill is the result of agreements between doctors, pharmacists and state senators who have voiced concerns about previous bills they found too broad, she said.

It outlines a narrow list of qualifying medical conditions — something that brought the Nebraska Medical Association on board in a neutral capacity after the group opposed the bill two years ago — while also detailing the steps physicians must perform before they can recommend cannabis to their patients.

It’s a bill that needs to be heard — one that deserves to make it out of committee. It’s what Nebraskans want, and its the only way that the Legislature can retain control of process.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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