Nebraska’s Republican governor has sparked confusion after claiming that legalising medicinal cannabis is “going to kill your kids.”
“This is a dangerous drug that will impact your kids,” the Republican told reporters last Wednesday.
“If you legalise marijuana, you’re going to kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country.”
These claims have been met with ridicule from local politicians:
There are few things in this world that won’t kill you if you do or take too much. The cannabis plant is one of tho… https://t.co/ossaxz82zd
— Senator Anna Wishart (@Senator Anna Wishart)
It’s really hard to have a reasonable conversation with someone like this. https://t.co/qkkc9s8lqh
— State Senator Adam Morfeld (@State Senator Adam Morfeld)
When asked to substantiate these claims, a representative for Nebraska’s governor directed USA Today to “two studies that found in an increase in marijuana use among teens who had died by suicide in states that had legalised the drug”.
These cited cases were two teens who had killed themselves and had eaten cannabis edibles.
Erik Altieri from The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws told USA Today: “His claims are not backed up by science or the real-world experience of the over a dozen states which have already legalized marijuana for adult use, they seem to exist only in his troubled imagination.”
The state is trying to pass legislation to allow healthcare professionals to prescribe the substance. Under the proposed rules, smoking the drug would be banned but oils, pills and tinctures will be permitted.
Ricketts believes that this process is an attempt to bypass the need for federal approval on drugs. He said: “This a big industry that is trying to not to be regulated, to go around the regulatory process. And that’s going around the regulatory process. And that’s going to put people at risk: when you go around regulations that are designed for the health and safety of our society.”