Nebraska Takes Second Look at Medical Marijuana


WikiMedia Commons / Carol M. Highsmith Archive / Public Domain

On March 3, 2016, Shelley Gillen, a mother whose 13-year-old son suffers from severe epileptic seizures, met with Nebraska Sen. Sue Crawford in an attempt to convince the senator to support LB 643, a bill introduced by Sen. Tommy Garrett that would establish the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, allowing broader medical marijuana access for those suffering from certain debilitating conditions, including cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, Crohn’s disease and multiple forms of epilepsy, among others.

“We’re just doing it as concerned parents who are looking for relief for their children,” Gillen told WOWT 6 News in an interview.

Gillen drafted a petition advocating for the passage of LB 643, which had more than 400 signatures from local medical marijuana supporters, as a means of persuading Crawford to support the bill; however, Crawford was resolute in her opposition to LB 643.

“I worked with the family for two years to bring non-psychoactive cannabis to our state in a way that’s constitutional and that’s compliant so that families can work with their health care providers,” Crawford said.

In 2015, Crawford introduced and helped pass LB 390, which created a pilot study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to allow patients suffering from intractable or treatment-resistant seizures to have access to low-THC oil.

According to WOWT 6 News, Gillen is concerned that her son will not qualify for the pilot study.

“It’s very frustrating to know that children in another state can try this but children here can’t,” Gillen said.

On Feb. 16, Garrett designated LB 643 as his priority bill, meaning it should be considered before other bills in debate.

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