Nebraska to consider medical marijuana bill
Nebraska state lawmakers are heavily considering passing a bill that would allow medical marijuana in the state. Although that may come as a shock to many of the residents, it actually shouldn’t. The bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Anna Wishart and the full support of 10 co-sponsors and 60 percent of state residents agree that medical marijuana should be legal.
Last year, Nebraska Legislature almost passed the same medical marijuana bill, but it faltered at the last moment and many thought it would become a distant memory. The bill is said to offer a safe and legal way for suffering Nebraskan patients to access medical marijuana, which in the last few years has been found to help treat and ease serious illnesses.
If the bill is passed, then patients would have to go through various processes to prove that they are qualified to receive medical marijuana. The first steps would be proving Nebraska residency, submitting a completed application, signing disclosure and consent forms, as well as getting a physician’s certification. The certification is necessary to make sure that the patient has been properly diagnosed and that there is an honest relationship between the doctor and patient.
Secondly, the patient must suffer from specific illnesses to be considered to use medical marijuana. Those illnesses are: glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms. Also cancer patients and other terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of one year or less can qualify for medical marijuana if they suffer from severe symptoms. If the patient cannot give themselves the correct dosage they must have a certified caregiver do so if a parent, legal guardian, or spouse is not available or up for the task.
Even if the bill is passed the actual act of smoking medical marijuana would still be illegal in Nebraska. The only legal forms would be through liquid, oil, or pill.
The plant form of medical marijuana isn’t recognized as a medicine; instead, patients would be receiving cannabinoids, which have the same benefits but often don’t give patients the feeling of being high.
If found in possession of medical marijuana in the prohibited areas, there would be consequences. This is important because many people who don’t believe in medical marijuana think that patients will be able to take medical marijuana anywhere with little-to-no consequence.
In recent studies, medical marijuana has been found to have many positive effects on the patients who have been allowed to use it. It has been found to decrease the nausea in cancer patients as well as increase their appetites, which is crucial during chemotherapy. Also, the effects of medical marijuana can reverse the negative effects of tobacco and improve lung health of tobacco smokers as well as increase lung capacity.
We at The Eagle are in favor of this bill being passed as long as it can be properly policed. We hope the bill doesn’t create a snowball effect and recreational marijuana doesn’t become more of a problem than it has already been. After researching the proven effects of medical marijuana we are in favor of allowing patients the option of using medical marijuana.