Medical Marijuana Debated In Nebraska’s Capitol

NEBRASKA:  A bill by Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garrett called the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, would legalize medical marijuana. Among those who came to the Capitol to testify in favor of it was David Swarts of Palmyra. In an interview before the hearing, Swarts said he used to view the issue differently. “I used to think everything I’d been told for the last 60 years: that marijuana was the devil weed and that it led to other drugs,” he said.

Swarts said he changed his mind after his son-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and he and his family discovered research that he said indicated cannabis could slow the growth of tumors and even allow cancer cells to destroy themselves.

Meanwhile, members of the Nebraska Sheriffs’ Association came prepared to testify against it. Among them was Grant County Sheriff Shawn Hebbert. “The Sheriffs’ Association is opposed to the legalization of marijuana in any way, shape or form, let alone through medical use. Medical use is not acceptable practice. If it was, the FDA would have approved it,” he said. “We wouldn’t need Cannabis Compassion Care Centers as this bill calls for. We already have pharmacies.”

Supporters of medical marijuana argue that it has proven more effective that FDA-approved drugs in treating epileptic seizures and in easing the pain of people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.