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Nebraska medical marijuana bill derided as ’poison pill″

February 23, 2022 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would allow marijuana for medicinal use in Nebraska while imposing tight restrictions hit a wall of opposition Wednesday from both legalization advocates and opponents.

Some legalization supporters blasted the measure as a “poison pill” that would effectively make it impossible to obtain the drug legally. They noted that federal law prohibits the transportation of cannabis across state lines, but the bill doesn’t allow producers to grow the plant in-state, so dispensaries wouldn’t be able to obtain it.

The bill also wouldn’t allow smokeable marijuana. Some users say smoking the drug is the only way they experience its medicinal benefits.

Opponents said they still don’t want to see the drug legalized in Nebraska, calling the push a slippery slope toward recreational use. The Nebraska State Patrol’s superintendent and the state’s chief medical officer, who both work for Gov. Pete Ricketts, testified against the bill.

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The measure was introduced by former state Sen. Mike Groene, who resigned earlier this week after acknowledging that he photographed a staffer in his office without her knowledge.

Groene previously said the bill wasn’t perfect and needed work. He said he saw it as a way to legalize the drug while minimizing public harm.