Nebraska families await decision on ‘most conservative medical cannabis law in US’

OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska) – A gathering at La Vista is not just a dinner with friends. It is women who are fighting for LB588, considering yet another impassioned plea before the unicameral to make medical cannabis legal in Nebraska.

“There’s this idea that eventually we’re going to walk away,” said Crista Eggers, campaign coordinator with Nebraskans for medical marijuana. “This issue is too important. There are too many people counting on Nebraska to do the right thing.”

People like Valley’s Shari Lawlor, whose daughter, Brooke, had her first seizure at 15 months — and is still having two or three a day 29 years later.

“He’s failed, like, 15 pharmaceutical drugs,” Lawlor said. “We’ve had different diets… We’ve tried just about everything. Plus, when your doctors tell you there’s nothing left to try but brain surgery, that’s the choice you’re left with as a parent, a heartbreaking one.

“They just want to try something different, something that has been proven to work in 47 other states,” said Barry Rubin, a pro-bono lobbyist for Nebraska Families 4 Medical Cannabis. “I am excited to fight on their behalf. I know they won’t stop, they are really fighting for their children and also elderly patients who want to relieve their Parkinson’s or PTSD or whatever it may be.

Dr. Jacqueline French is the Chief Medical Officer of the Epilepsy Foundation. She would like to see opponents of medical cannabis overcome misconceptions and hear what she and many in the medical field have learned from families seeking answers.

“The families have said, wait a minute, our kids are getting better, in some cases they’re getting a lot better, and you have to study that and show that it works in epilepsy,” said Dr. French.

“It’s absolutely not about kids getting high. People don’t get high on CBD.”

“There are basically two options,” Rubin said. “The legislature can pass the most conservative medical legalization in the country, which would be, or we can take it on the ballot in two years and we can have a California- or Colorado-style recreational and medical system in Nebraska.”

“I’m tired of trying to justify the value of my child’s life,” Eggers said.

State Senator Anna Wishart of Lincoln, who introduced the bill, will seek adoption before the Judiciary Committee at 9:30 Thursday in Lincoln.

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