By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
It would make good sense to pay attention to some of the legislation being proposed in this session of the Nebraska Unicameral, namely dealing with our marijuana laws.
Two bills deal with allowing use of medical marijuana in certain instances, while a third stiffens penalties for possession of non-medical consumption of marijuana edibles. The two that would allow medical marijuana in specific instances come from two different Bellevue senators. The third, stiffening penalties, comes from the state senator from Gothenburg, Sen. Matt Williams.
LB643, proposed by Bellevue senator Tommy Garrett, has been billed the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act and would establish a state-licensed system to fill a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana.
LB390 is more specific, in that it provides for use of a specific type of cannabis oil in treating epileptic seizures. Its sponsor is Sen. Sue Crawford, also from Bellevue.
LB326, introduced by the Gothenburg senator, ups the penalties if you’re in possession of the edible marijuana products now so popular in Colorado, right next door.
While something may be said for using marijuana in limited medical cases (some studies say it’s effective in relieving symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and MS), that is exactly how the door is opened to legalizing recreational marijuana. Is that what Nebraskans want?
On Jan. 1 this year, Colorado celebrated its first anniversary of legal recreational marijuana sales. Washington state has allowed the sale of recreational marijuana since June 1, 2014. Oregon and Alaska will join them in 2016. Voters in the nation’s capitol have also approved a recreational marijuana initiative, but the law is still pending congressional approval.
It’s something to think about. We have a chance to learn more about what’s being proposed here, thanks to NET, which plans to broadcast live coverage this Friday of the legislature’s judiciary committee hearings on all three proposed bills in Nebraska. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. CT on Friday.