Nebraska Senator looks to put medical marijuana on November ballot

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Lincoln senator is making her second attempt to get medical marijuana legalized in Nebraska. A recent study from the Marijuana Police Project shows 77% of Nebraskans would support medical marijuana if given the chance to vote. And that chance could come this November.

The Judiciary committee is now debating whether to let this resolution move on.

They heard testimonies from people who said the drug will improve their life, and others who said the drug is a risk to the public's health.

"I know if it was available to me I would probably be in a lot less pain," said a veteran in support of the resolution.

From pain management, to cancer treatment, to PTSD and seizures, Senator Anna Wishart said Cannabis has several medical benefits.

"I have heard overwhelming support from Nebraskan's across the state," said Wishart.

Benefits that can help everyone from veterans to parents.

"Why are we more worried about protecting the potential abuser rather than those who are innocently sick and suffering," said the mother who's son has frequent seizures.

A recent study shows more than 3/4th's of Nebraskans would support the idea. One of them is Joe Guinan.

"I was on every single pill you could think of and it got to the point where I was more dependent on the pain pills to just get me through the day than anything else. I lost like 25 pounds," said Guinan.

The Omaha native was in a bad car crash in 2014. It shattered the right side of his face. Guinan didn't want opioids to take over his life, so he tried Marijuana.

" I could go out and actually be active and do things, verses when I was on the opioids I, it's just a crippling drug," said Guinan.

At Thursday's Judiciary committee hearing majority of the people wanted doctors to be able to prescribe the drug, but not everyone.

"There are many issues surrounding the use of medical marijuana. One of the most prominent is the lack of conclusive research," said Dr. Thomas Williams the Director of Public Health and Human Service and Chief Medical Officer for the DHHS.

Other people say it's too soon.

"We're talking about drugs that we don't know the impact of, and we're ready to just legalize it and say go at it with very little regulation, which is concerning," said Monica Oldenburg an Anesthesiologist in Lincoln.

If the resolution gets out of the committee it'll head to the floor where it needs at least 30 senators to vote in favor. If that happens, it would put on this November's ballot.