Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jan 2016
Source: Lincoln Journal Star (NE)
Copyright: 2016 Lincoln Journal Star
Author: Dominic Gillen


Medical cannabis is again being addressed in the legislature. I pray 
the elected officials who oppose the legislation will see the ironies 
in their stances on LB 643, the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, and 
rethink their opposition ("Veteran promotes legalization of medical 
marijuana, Garrett's bill," Jan. 6).

First, opponents of the bill say they don't want medical cannabis to 
be abused. When asked to name even one person they could save from 
abuse opponents of the bill, they can't because they're talking about 
hypothetical people. There are thousands of living, breathing 
Nebraskans who would benefit. Ironic that it appears that 
representing hypothetical abusers takes precedence over sick and 
suffering Nebraskans.

Second, opponents say we need FDA approval so we don't make sick 
people sicker. There are plenty of medical professionals in the 23 
states with medical cannabis laws who can say that the benefits far 
outweigh any perceived risk, especially when put up against the 
horrible side effects of FDA approved drugs. Truly having compassion 
would entail doing something to help, rather than just saying "no."

Third, opponents to the bill continue to push the argument that 
passing a medical cannabis law will magically lead to recreational 
cannabis being legalized. As elected officials, legislators should 
know how a bill becomes law. Passing a medicinal cannabis bill 
couldn't automatically allow for recreational legalization. A 
completely new bill would have to be offered with recreational use 
being its focus. How ironic that the very officials who oppose 
recreational legalization would be the same officials that would have 
to vote for recreational to happen.

Finally, the biggest irony of all is the vast amount of time and 
energy opposing lawmakers are spending to deny medical help to the 
very people they were elected to serve.

Dominic Gillen, Bellevue
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