Nebraska seems to be on its way to being the 37th state to legalize the medical use of marijuana. This does not come as a surprise because several states are rushing to get a piece of the wild investment spree going on in the U.S cannabis industry.
On a federal level, the cannabis industry still has a long way to go. On state levels, the industry has progressed beautifully; awesome reforms all around. There are more than enough marijuana stocks to go around despite the drug being a schedule 1 drug (apparently this status would change sooner or later).
While many wait for the day elected officials would finally decriminalize cannabis, the legalization steps being taken by states like Nebraska are considered a win.
It is still unclear whether the decriminalization of cannabis on a federal level would spill to other illegal markets in the country. Or if the medical use of other once federally illegal drugs will be approved.
What is clear for now is that the U.S cannabis industry will likely be legalized nationwide in a few years. Seeing that states are starting to intensify the pressure mounted on federal lawmakers, It is a safe bet that these politicians will begin to advance with bills for cannabis reforms on a federal level.
This current push in Nebraska is sponsored by Senator Anna Wishart. According to reports coming from Nebraska, lawmakers in the state are cooperating to seal the legalization of medical marijuana. These reports say that this may be accomplished before the end of May, hopefully, this week.
Senator Wishart recently gave a statement where it was deduced that the bill would be debated on Wednesday, May 12th by the house.
In the course of getting this bill passed, several revisions have been carried out. The unrevised version of this bill would have the use of medical marijuana for any ailment. After some revisions, it was amended to state a list of medical conditions that would be allowed. That is, patients with these highlighted medical conditions would get access to the pot.
The following health issues are some of the qualifying conditions for a Nebraskan to legally use marijuana in the state.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
And a few others.
The first medical marijuana bill was introduced to the house four months before this new one was finally considered. The new bill has been revised several times. This revision period was important to make the document scale through the judicial committee. The bill contains specifics that would authorize Nebraskans to purchase and be in possession of as much as 84 grams of marijuana. To control this, the document specified that these 2 and a half ounces of cannabis must be procured from licensed dispensaries.
A part of the document that may not go well with Nebraskans is that the proposed bill does not permit that the drug is smoked by the registered patients. They are instead to consume the drug by other authorized methods like vaping.
However, the situation can be revised at a later period.
The next important stage for this bill to be approved is for it to be accepted by the GOP-controlled unilateral body.
Crossing the first hurdle of legalizing the drug is the hardest. Revisions are relatively easier.
At least 33 cloture votes are needed for a positive outcome to yield from the house proceedings. These majority votes would be enough to pass the newly modified bill. The house is trying to reach a compromise on the bill, with current revisions modified to be more appealing to opposing members of the house.
In an interview Nebraska's campaign manager for the National Marijuana Policy Project, Jared Moffat, said he thinks that the advocates for the bill are not averse to making these revisions to the bill, so far it means something is being done on it.
The co-sponsors of the bill, Senator Wishart and Senator Morfeld are working actively to ensure the registered voters of Nebraska make the final decision of passing the cannabis bills.
Both have been ardent advocates for the legalization of cannabis in the state. They also involved other prominent political figures in the state to kickstart a campaign for this.
A group of Nebraskans is now taking the initiative to solicit for marijuana reforms, starting with the legalization of medical cannabis in the state.
Currently, signatures are being collated for this measure. The target is to have the bill on the ballots in 2022.
If you can recall, Nebraskans started a campaign to include the legalized medical marijuana measure in the 2020 ballots, however, their efforts were shut down by the State Supreme Court after a Single-subject challenge.
This time around, the low turnouts during midterm elections might be the major challenge if the required signatures are gotten.
Steve Lathrop, chairman of the Judicial Council, said in the hearing that his vote was in support of the medical cannabis legalization bill. He stated that his reason for this was somewhat because he feels the bill will be a better alternative to the campaign measures that could be included on the ballots in 2022.
Governor Pete Ricketts may halt the current momentum for cannabis reforms.
The Governor holds a rigid stance against all marijuana reform measures in the state. There is a high possibility that he would dismiss the medical cannabis bill if it gets to his office.
That said, the constitution states that a gubernatorial veto can be rejected by 30 votes from the house. Members of his party would also have to oppose the governor's stance.
Sen. Wishart and Sen. Morfeld both have plans to introduce the question of legalizing recreational cannabis before voters by 2022. They made this announcement in December 2020.
The sooner this limited proposal to legitimize medical cannabis is approved, the earlier other steps can be taken regarding cannabis reforms in the state.