When it comes to changing hearts and minds on medical marijuana, there's nothing more powerful than a roomful of patients and their loved ones sharing their stories. On Friday of last week, lawmakers listened to hours of testimony in favor of establishing a compassionate law that would end the practice of treating patients as criminals.
Alongside patients who had travelled from across the state and Sen. Anna Wishart — primary sponsor of the bill to legalize medical marijuana — sat MPP's director of state policies, Karen O'Keefe, who explained how the legislation would benefit thousands of Nebraskans.
The momentum for medical marijuana is growing, but we need you in the fight. If you agree that patients and their families deserve compassion, please contact your state senator and ask them to get behind LB 110.
Despite opposition from Gov. Ricketts, the effort to establish a compassionate medical marijuana program in Nebraska is picking up steam like never before. On the same day as the legislative hearing, the 2020 ballot campaign committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, held its kickoff fundraiser in Lincoln and over 100 people attended!
There are reasons to be optimistic about the prospects for marijuana policy reform in Nebraska. But we need you to get involved.
The push for medical marijuana is heating up in Nebraska — and we need you to be part of it!
Sen. Anna Wishart recently introduced a bill that would establish a compassionate program for individuals with serious health conditions. With a doctor's approval, qualifying patients would be able to safely access medical marijuana under this legislation.
Thirty-two states, including Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri, have adopted laws to legalize medical marijuana. It's time for Nebraska to do the same. Take action and forward this email to others so they can contact their state senators, too.
One last thing: While we are hopeful that Nebraskan lawmakers pass Sen. Wishart's bill this year, a newly formed committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, is preparing to introduce a 2020 ballot initiative with MPP's support. Sign up to receive email updates from the campaign here, and if you live in or near Lincoln, please attend the campaign's kickoff fundraiser this Friday, January 25! Get more details and RSVP here.
Thank you for your support!
This evening, Governor Lincoln Chafee issued a press release stating that he will not be moving forward on issuing certificates of operation to the three entities chosen by the state Department of Health to bring safe, affordable and reliable medical marijuana to Rhode Island’s most sick and suffering patients. Gov. Chafee has asked the General Assembly to work with him to create a model that does not draw the attention of the federal government.
This whole thing started over two years ago when the General Assembly passed legislation creating compassion centers in Rhode Island. Since then Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Arizona, and New Jersey have all enacted laws allowing for regulated dispensing of medical marijuana. As you may recall, after passage of these laws – or during debate of them – the DOJ through several United States Attorneys fired off scary sounding letters to state officials claiming that they’ll bust up people acting in compliance with these compassionate and popular state laws. A funny thing happened though, all of these states, with the exception of Rhode Island, have moved forward with giving patients the humane option of safe access despite the fact that the laws irk officials in DC.
And now we have the actions of one Gov. Lincoln Chafee. A man who claims to understand that patients need safe access yet steadfastly refuses to allow them that access. A man who refused to hand a confessed killer over to the feds to face the death penalty because it was against Rhode Island’s public policy while at the same time ignoring another public policy decision of the state to allow safe access to medical marijuana because the feds asked him to!
At this point, I’m not sure what to make of all this and what it means for patients in Rhode Island. I do know that it’s outrageous, disappointing and downright mean-spirited. I also know that this is sure to be the beginning of a discussion, not the end.