Tuesday’s election changed marijuana laws in many parts of the country.
A ballot count on Thursday resulted in Maine becoming the fourth state to approve recreational pot this year Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota voters approved medicinal marijuana. Montanans voted to ease restrictions on cannabis oil.
But here in Nebraska one of the main advocates of medical marijuana lost his seat in the legislature. Any form of marijuana remains illegal.
Parents of children with brain disorders have lost a true ally. Nebraska came up just short of passing medical marijuana--failed to get past a filibuster last session.
“We were really saddened by it and really devastated,” said Shelley Gillen.
Gillen’s son Will suffers from a rare form of epilepsy and says medical marijuana could help her son's seizures that they deal with daily.
“Our main goal each day is to keep him out of the ER so we still deal with the seizures on a daily basis,” said Gillen.
She said they don't know who will be the leader they need to get the bill passed.
“Hard not to feel like who is going to stand up to us, stand up to those who are sick as passionately as he did,” said Gillen.
KMTV spoke with Senator Garrett who also feels defeated, “I feel like I let down the moms,” but says that shouldn't deter the efforts to legalize medical marijuana to help families like the Gillens, “We had a good amount of support before and I think the new senators coming in I’m very hopeful.”
The trend nationally is more accepting to medical marijuana Garrett said and wants this state to follow suit, “It's coming, I just didn't want Nebraska to be the last state to do it especially since people are suffering.”
For the Gillens, this setback they hope is only temporary as a brand new session starts with more than a dozen new senators to convince.
“So that means a lot more new senators to educate, which takes a lot of time, energy and is very emotional to do,” said Gillen.
Sen. Garrett said he already knows of a few senators who may take his place in sponsoring the medical marijuana bill next session including some of the new senators coming in.
Right now medicinal marijuana is fully legal in 28 states and DC.