Andrew Seaman

Nebraska Senate Kills MMJ Legalization Bill

Nebraska state senators have tabled medical cannabis legislation, effectively killing it, after hours of debate on the Senate floor and even after the bill’s sponsor agreed to suggested amendments limiting the program’s available products and delivery methods.

Full story after the jump.

Medical cannabis legislation is dead in Nebraska even after the bill sponsor agreed to all of the opposition’s amendments to limit the products and delivery methods that would be allowed under the regime, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports. The measure did get hours of Senate floor debate before being pushed from the chamber’s agenda.

“Honestly, this was my colleagues’ chance to do something, and I was giving them the decision on whether they wanted to take action or not.” — Sen. Anna Wishart, the bill sponsor, to the Journal-Star

Wishart had worked with opponents of the measure and eliminated the home-growing and smoking provisions provided in the original version of the bill. She said she also would have supported a ban on edibles if it would have helped get the measure approved.

Opponents argued that cannabis products have not been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, warned of the dangers of drug-impaired driving, and other dangers associated with cannabis. One prohibition group, Moms Against Marijuana, brought in a physician who moved to the state from Colorado who said that after recreational legalization in Colorado about “a quarter” of her patients were suddenly “daily users.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts also opposed the bill, arguing that medicinal legalization will allow the cannabis industry to put down roots in the state and “pressure to legalize recreational use” will follow.

Wishart indicated that she, along with state Sen. Adam Morfeld, have already started gathering signatures for a petition initiative to get the issue on 2020 general election ballots. While Wishart gave the legislative path as 30 percent chances of success, she gives a voter initiative an 80 percent chance – and a successful ballot initiative measure would give less control over the law by the Legislature.

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