Nebraska Medical Cannabis Bill Has ‘Poison Pill’ Provisions

A medical cannabis proposal in Nebraska labeled as “poison pill” legislation by activists seeks to legalize dispensaries but provides no legal means of cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes.

Full story after the jump.

Nebraska medical cannabis activists say a bill introduced by Republican Sen. Mike Groene is a “poison pill” meant to reduce the likelihood that broader medical cannabis reforms will pass in November, Marijuana Moment reports. The bill would allow patients to purchase cannabis oils, pills, and up to 2.5 ounces of flower at dispensaries. Smoking or vaping cannabis would be prohibited along with making edibles, leaving patients few choices for consumption methods.

Despite these limitations, the real elephant in the room is that the cultivation of cannabis for commercial or personal reasons would remain illegal, making it impossible for dispensaries to stock their shelves with medical cannabis products. Under the proposal, only patients with stage four cancer, uncontrollable seizures, severe muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy, or a terminal illness with less than a one-year life expectancy would make the list of qualifying conditions, the report says.

“This appears to be a political stunt,” Jared Moffat, state campaigns manager at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release. “Opponents of medical cannabis know there is a viable campaign to put medical cannabis on the ballot, and they know Nebraskans will overwhelmingly support that effort.”

The legislation looks to be supported by the Nebraska chapter of the prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana more evidence “that this proposal is not a good faith effort to find some middle ground,” Moffat said in a statement.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana have been collecting signatures for a pair of initiatives they hope to put on the 2022 ballot. They have until July to collect 87,000 signatures. This latest effort comes on the heels of a 2020 state Supreme Court ruling which invalidated the ballot measure on the grounds that the initiative covered more than one topic.

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