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 it’s the only way that the Legislature can retain control of process.

This editorial first appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star on February 15, 2023. It was distributed by The Associated Press.

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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 it’s the only way that the Legislature can retain control of process.

This editorial first appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star on February 15, 2023. It was distributed by The Associated Press.

Read more here: Source link

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *