Local View: Time for Nebraska to reform marijuana laws | Columnists

Gov. Pete Ricketts, and a small group of his colleagues, would like to communicate one clear message to the people of Nebraska: Cannabis is very dangerous!

In a recent op-ed (“Marijuana: A clear and present danger,” Feb. 24), he lays out the case for the opposition. Cannabis has no medicinal value, and any form of medical cannabis legislation would lead to the degradation of our youth, our community, and our economy.

Unfortunately, Governor Ricketts is not providing a well-rounded and scientific based perspective.

What we have learned over the past two decades is that evidence from marijuana use demonstrates it is not as dangerous as previously feared. Its medical uses are well documented, and its economic benefit has been substantial for those who have regulated it.

When we regulate and tax the industry, we move it out of the hands of criminals and into local control. Marijuana regulation is smart policy from every angle: medicinal, financial, legal, and ethical.

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is well documented in the medical and scientific literature. In fact, there are many research studies and clinical trials demonstrating how cannabis can treat hundreds of chronic diseases, including pain, inflammation, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis.

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