This is Senator Les Seiler, representing District 33. Greetings from the State Capitol!
This week we debated legislation related to access of medical marijuana in Nebraska.
LB 390 is a bill that provides for the proper medical use of marijuana. But more importantly, LB 390 establishes that the University of Nebraska appropriate $250,000 for each of the next two fiscal years for the Medical Cannabidiol Pilot Study. The Medical Cannabidiol Pilot Study is established under the purview of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and serves to help those patients with severe epilepsy.
Those patients can be treated by federally approved drugs with an extract of a marijuana plant. As a safeguard, the Department of Health and Human Services will establish policies and procedures to regulate the two medical providers who will conduct research and treat patients under the pilot study at the center.
LB 643 is another bill that creates the Medical Cannabis Act. This permits patients to be treated with cannabis for epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV & Aids, Tourette’s Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease and terminal illnesses as well as cancer treatments producing conditions of chronic pain, severe vomiting or waste. Marijuana treatments would be administered through liquid, pill and vaporized forms for the benefit of the patient.
The Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, regulates the manufacturing of medical marijuana as well as a registry for qualified caregivers, patients, and manufacturers of cannabis. The registry also includes data on patients that is considered medical record, and is thereby protected.
A criminal penalty is applicable for those manufacturers or agents that give cannabis to any other person other than a qualified patient, designated caregiver or parent or legal guardian of the patient. As a result of a conviction, a person affiliated with the manufacturer can no longer participate under the Medical Cannabis Act.
LB 643 and LB 390 have advanced to Select File for further debate. I voted in favor of these bills in order to relieve the suffering for the families and children who are enduring terminal illnesses and the symptoms of painful disease that can be alleviated by the benefits of medical cannabis in Nebraska. I simply cannot turn my back on those families that need this legislation the most.
As the session continues and we debate legislation, I encourage you to engage in your right to civic participation. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions. If you have questions on legislation, you may speak with my Legislative Aide, Tyanne. If you need to schedule an appointment with me, you may speak with my Administrative Assistant, Linda. Either I or my staff can be reached at the office number in Lincoln at (402) 471-2712.