Nebraska Debate begins on legalization of medical marijuana

A Bellevue senator who is passionate about the state legalizing marijuana -- for medical purposes only -- finally got his day to try to convince 48 other lawmakers to join his crusade. 

Sen. Tommy Garrett, who made the bill (LB643) his priority, opened debate Thursday this way: This is for the moms.

He told senators they had an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Nebraskans who could benefit from medical marijuana. 

The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in March 1999 said medical research has discovered beneficial uses for cannabis in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with debilitating medical conditions.  


SCOTUS Round-up: White House Asked to Weigh in on Marijuana Case

Oklahoma and Nebraska want to rollback Colorado’s legalization of pot, calling it a “cross-border nuisance.”

Here’s a round-up of Monday’s Supreme Court developments.

Justices ask White House to comment on marijuana case: The Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on a lawsuit brought by two states seeking to rollback marijuana legalization in Colorado, reports WSJ’s Jess Bravin:

Oklahoma and Nebraska asked the Supreme Court to invalidate laws implementing a 2012 voter initiative approved by their neighbor state, which legalized recreational use of marijuana.


Marijuana Supports Gather in Downtown Omaha

Fed up and ready to fight for pot a group known as the Marijuana Party of Nebraska gathered in downtown Omaha on Saturday.

This was just one of 500 rallies located all across the U.S.

It was all part of the Global Marijuana March.

Supporters made sure that their voices were heard, many saying they'll stop at nothing to see legalization in Nebraska.

"We want to be able to lift all the laws and regulations of marijuana and we want to be able to grow hemp and marijuana in our field we want to use green energy stop cutting down trees make paper and wood out of hemp. We want to let our medical patients have a choice about what kind of medications they use,” said rally organizer Mark Elwood.


Nebraska senators to hash out legalizing medical marijuana

Nebraska senators will debate whether to legalize medical marijuana under a bill proponents say is aimed at residents struggling with debilitating seizures.

A legislative committee voted 7-1 Monday to advance a measure to create cannabis centers where marijuana would be produced and dispensed. Patients and caregivers could register with the state to obtain the drug for treatment.

"If it gets legalized, I will be a very happy person," said Maria Vavra, who uses marijuana as treatment for MS. "I have MS and if I did not smoke marijuana daily, I would be using my walker again and I would probably be in a wheelchair today."

"I use it for the spasms in my leg," said Dennis Pyle. "It seems to work better than the pills that I take."


New Nebraska law could help put medical marijuana on ballot

Worried that lawmakers may not act, advocates for medical marijuana could take their campaign to Nebraska voters next year, and a new state law could make their job easier.

Supporters said they've started gathering signatures to place the issue on the November 2016 ballot. Despite significant hurdles, activists from the Omaha chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said the new petitioning law will make a difference.

"It's still a mighty task, but this helps us tremendously," said Bryan Boganowski, the founder of Omaha NORML.


Marijuana 101: The key facts and questions

If you want to talk about marijuana, you need to speak the language. We've laid out some key phrases and questions that come up frequently in the marijuana debate.


Marijuana: The dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate (female) cannabis plant that yield THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): The principal active chemical in marijuana that supplies its narcotic and psychoactive effects.

Hemp: A cannabis plant containing very low amounts of THC, generally grown for its fiber.

Strains: Varieties of marijuana containing specific characteristics such as certain THC levels, physical effects, smells and colors.


To the Bitter End: The 9 States Where Marijuana Will Be Legalized Last

We know the end is coming, but pot prohibition is going to have to be undone state by state. Here are the ones least likely to jump on the bandwagon.

Marijuana prohibition in the US is dying, but it isn't going to vanish in one fell swoop. Even if Congress were to repeal federal pot prohibition, state laws criminalizing the plant and its users would still be in effect—at least in some states.

And it's probably a pretty safe bet that Congress isn’t going to act until a good number of states, maybe more than half, have already legalized it. That process is already underway and is likely to gather real momentum by the time election day 2016 is over.


Emotional testimony about medical marijuana heard at Nebraska State Capitol

An emotional testimony about medical marijuana was heard Wednesday at the Nebraska State Capitol, with supporters pushing to get a bill to the full Legislature.

"They don't understand. If it was a natural disaster in Nebraska, everybody would be rallying around (it), but our kids are Nebraska's natural disaster, and they need the help now," Becky Budden said.

Budden's 4-year-old daughter has epilepsy and gets seizures.

Families like Budden’s support the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act.

"We've tried multiple pharmaceuticals," Budden said. "Right now, we're only on a rescue medicine. She's still having seizures."


Marijuana Legalization: Colorado Will Defend Pot Bill Against Lawsuit From Oklahoma And ...

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman announced Friday that the state will defend its legalization of marijuana for sale medicinally and recreationally against a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma. Friday was the final day for Colorado to respond to the lawsuit, which alleged its voter-backed legalization initiative, Amendment 64, has sent a wave of uncontrolled cannabis across the two states’ borders since becoming law in 2012.


Medical Marijuana in Nebraska Spotlight

The judiciary committee in the Nebraska Legislature is expected to decide this week what avenues to pursue -- or not pursue -- in the medical marijuana debate. Many families are making a last minute push for change.

If any of the bills being considered become law, Nebraska would become the 24th state to allow a form of marijuana to be used as medicine.

“I just want to know what Nebraska is going to do for those who are sick and have debilitating illnesses," said Shelley Gillen, from her Bellevue living room.

She was joined by two other mothers. Their children all suffer from a form of epilepsy.


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