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Nebraska State Senators make push for marijuana reform

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 07:15:40-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska State Senators Anna Wishart and Adam Morefeld announced Thursday they will be leading a new committee to reform marijuana laws in the state.

Nebraska for Sensible Marijuana Laws filed its initial paperwork and will focus legalization of medical marijuana.

“We will be conducting research to determine the level of support for additional reforms,” Morfeld said in a release. “We are going to put forward an initiative that enjoys strong support from Nebraskans.”

Members of the committee include Democrats, Republicans and independents.

“The Marijuana Policy Project is excited to work with Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws in pursuit of marijuana policies that truly serve the interests of the people,” deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project and campaign committee member Matthew Schweich said. “Medical marijuana is a bipartisan issue that enjoys strong support across the country, including in conservative states like Nebraska. We are confident this campaign will be successful at the ballot box in 2020.”

Schweich has been a part of successful marijuana initiatives in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Utah.

“We are assembling steering committees to represent important groups across Nebraska, including potential medical marijuana patients and their families, public safety and criminal justice reform advocates, business leaders, and others," Wishart said. "All will play a key role in guiding this campaign."

Governor Pete Ricketts said Nebraska will continue to lead in marijuana research, and says that research is vital in protecting the state's communities.

“In recent years, Nebraska has been a leader in taking responsible steps to conduct research on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Along these lines, the University of Nebraska Medical Center completed a study that led to federal approval of a new cannabidiol-based medical drug to treat seizures earlier this year," Gov. Ricketts said in a statement. "Like other drugs used for healthcare, marijuana should be subject to the same approval process, regulation, and research to protect our communities and the well-being of Nebraskans. Approval of medical drugs outside this process would expose our communities and public health to great risk.”