Medical Marijuana

A marijuana plant grows at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minnesota. A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska is modeled after Minnesota's medical cannabis program.

Once again, the Nebraska Legislature has adjourned without passing legislation to provide relief to thousands of patients in our state who could benefit from the therapeutic properties of medical cannabis.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and his allies dug in their heels and fought hard against Sen. Anna Wishart’s well-considered and moderate proposal to establish a compassionate medical marijuana program.

Normally, this would be deeply disappointing, but the fight is far from over. A coalition of patients, families and medical cannabis advocates have a plan to go around our hard-headed political leaders: the 2020 ballot.

You’ll see them this summer as they fan out across the state to collect signatures for the petition to create a constitutional amendment establishing the right of patients and doctors to decide whether medical cannabis is an appropriate course of treatment.

The science is clear on medical cannabis: It can be a safe and effective option for patients suffering from a range of serious conditions, from chronic pain to seizure disorders to chemotherapy-induced nausea. There is even new research pointing to medical marijuana’s ability to modify the course of certain diseases.

Please add your signature to our petition this summer, and then, on Nov. 3, 2020, cast your vote for the constitutional amendment making medical cannabis legal in Nebraska. Give us, in concert with our doctors, the right to decide the most suitable treatment for the devastating diseases we Nebraskans suffer.

Suzanne V. Shackelford, Lincoln

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