Nebraska's Tough Approach to Medical Marijuana May Backfire

April 16, 2019 AT 7:15 AM

By Grant Schulte

Year after year, Nebraska's conservative lawmakers have rejected measures calling for limited and highly regulated medical marijuana.

They're poised to do it again, but their decision this year could have the unintended consequence of ushering in one of the most unrestricted medical marijuana laws in the country.

If so, Nebraska will join a growing number of conservative states with unusually easy marijuana access, all because red-state lawmakers refuse to touch the issue and thereby make way for ballot initiatives.

Last year, Oklahoma became a vivid example. Billboards there now display a smiling white-coated doctor offering same-day service for marijuana prescriptions. Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi may face marijuana ballot initiatives soon after legislators rejected medical marijuana with tight controls.

Meanwhile, 18 other states, including more liberal Illinois, New York and Vermont, have legislated restrictions that make legal marijuana harder to get.

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