Nebraska parents testify in favor of ‘conservative’ Medical Marijuana bill

Nebraska parents testify in favor of ‘conservative’ Medical Marijuana bill

Medical cannabis supporters say they will put forward another petition drive — pushing for a statute like Colorado’s — if lawmakers don’t act.

LINCOLN - Medical marijuana proponents in Nebraska told 6 News they are ready for yet another petition drive, but are hoping it won’t come to that.

Supporters told 6 News on Thursday that medical marijuana legislation brought forth this year is the narrowest and most-conservative version they’ve ever put together, targeting only those with select medical conditions.

State Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln put forth the bill.

“The federal Drug Enforcement Agency confirms, and I quote, ‘No deaths from overdose of marijuana have ever been reported,’” she said.

Besides the two ballot petition drives, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures, along with new bills introduced every session, Nebraska remains one of three states with nothing on the books regarding medical cannabis.

“I sit before you, tired and weary from this fight, and I beg you to look at the suffering of the people of this state,” said Crista Eggers of Gretna.

Parent after parent pleaded with lawmakers in the judiciary committee to know the story of how prescribed pills don’t work for the countless seizures in their epileptic children.

For some on the opposing side, the issue comes down to a lack of federal approval, and the danger of abuse.

“Ten years of the same redundant arguments and excuses — it’s a gateway drug,” said Shelley Gillen of Bellevue. “It’s not FDA-approved. There aren’t enough studies. It’s a slippery slope. What about our kids? It’ll get into the hands of the abuser. Our family finds all of these excuses nothing short of insulting.”

Without medical cannabis, their last option is brain surgery.

“This state is taking my son’s life,” said Nicole Hochstein of Papillion. “Had he been born in any other state, he would have access to a life-saving medicine.”

Supporters of medical marijuana left with a final message for lawmakers:

“My home is run by the electric devil we call epilepsy, and it has altered my family’s life forever,” said Elizabeth Bronson of Omaha.

Medical marijuana supporters have vowed to move forward with another petition drive if lawmakers don’t act, saying the next version will look more like what Colorado currently has.

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Region: Nebraska

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