Gov. Pete Ricketts and others opposed to legalizing medical marijuana in Nebraska held a news conference Wednesday in the Capitol rotunda just ahead of a Unicameral hearing on the matter.
The issue is in front of Nebraska lawmakers for a fifth consecutive year months after losing ballot approval in the 11th hour last fall following a ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
As state leaders consider once more to make medical marijuana legal in the state, the governor said “big pot — big marijuana — is a big industry.”
These big brands are trying to go around the regulatory process and experts say it’s dangerous, he said.
Ricketts also likened the Schedule 1 drug to others in the same category, such as LSD, heroin, and ecstasy.
“So this is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids,” the governor said. “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country.”
Ricketts was joined at the news conference by former Husker football coach and three-term U.S. Congressman Tom Osborne. Medical cannabis supporters also gathered outside the judiciary committee at the Nebraska State Capitol to express their frustration.
The governor said “surveys” in Colorado indicated marijuana use in “with the last month or so” among 6.5% of eighth-graders — 11.5% over the course of a year; and that nearly 7% of 12th-graders use marijuana or a THC derivative daily there — over 21% on a monthly basis.