During a press conference last week – hosted by anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said, “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids.” Ricketts indicated that his remarks were supported by “data…around the country.”
“And that’s why it’s dangerous to go around the established process we have to determine whether or not drugs are safe and effective and why legalizing marijuana and going around the regulatory process to keep people safe is dangerous and going to harm our kids.” – Ricketts via the Recount
The governor’s comments come as the legislature’s Judiciary Committee considers a measure to legalize medical cannabis in the state. Last year, advocates attempted to get a medical cannabis initiative to voters, but the proposal was struck down by the state Supreme Court which ruled the measure broke the state’s single-issue rule for ballot questions.
Organizers are reportedly gearing up to get the issue on ballots next year if lawmakers fail to enact the reforms and have whittled down the initiative language to one sentence – “Persons in the State of Nebraska shall have the right to cannabis in all its forms for medical purposes” – in order for it to survive legal scrutiny.
State Sen. Anna Wishart (D), a co-founder of Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, said in December that she is working on ballot language for broad legalization. Ballot petitioners need 250,000 total signatures to put the issue to voters.
Nebraska is one of just three states that have not legalized cannabis for any medical use, along with neighboring Kansas and Idaho.
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