Emotional testimony at medical marijuana hearing

Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 15, 2017

There was very passionate testimony during the legislature’s judiciary committee on LB 622 to allow medical marijuana in the state.

This time however there’s a new face proposing the legislation, freshman Senator Anna Wishart.

“I believe that it would be to our benefit as a state that we work on addressing this issue in the legislature,” said Wishart.

According to Wishart, this is a very strict medical marijuana bill which allows Nebraskans who have a qualifying medical condition such as chronic pain, epilepsy, or cancer. The marijuana would only be used in the form of oil, pill or vapor—but not smoked.

“Prescription pain killer deaths have dropped 25-percent  in states with access to medical cannabis,” said Wishart.

Supporters of the bill gave heart-felt testimony urging senators to pass the bill.

One was a veteran, Benjamin Marksmeier who shows the committee his injuries from war, one leg amputated. He said the pain killers he was on seven years ago made him suffer even more.

“I’ve never wanted to kill myself so bad, and I’ve been through war,” said Marksmeier.

The state of Nebraska has sued its neighbor Colorado for its use of marijuana and the attorney general’s office is still against any forms of the substance in the state.

“Marijuana remains outright illegal as a schedule one drug under the federal controlled substances act,” said assistant Nebraska Attorney General David Lopez.

And law enforcement stressed legalizing the substance would lead to other things.

“There is a significant risk that medical marijuana would nonetheless be used for recreational purposes,” said Nebraska State Patrol Colonel Brad Rice.

This is Senator Anna Wishart’s priority bill which matters because if passed by the committee it is almost guaranteed it will be heard by the full legislature.

It would also have to overcome a veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts who does not support this bill.