Plenty of discussion on issues in Legislature

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The past couple of weeks have been hectic with a lot of discussion about substantive (and not so substantive) issues being debated on the floor of the Legislature.

One big topic that came up was medical cannabis. This issue is highly divisive throughout our entire state and I believe both sides gave good, sound arguments. I brought a well-received, specific amendment that eliminated the opposition from the Nebraska Medical Association and seemed to have a good consensus among the legislative body. However, the bill did not receive the votes necessary to advance in the end. I want to thank Sen. Anna Wishart for her due diligence in working with all sides to bring a comprehensive and well-regulated medical marijuana bill to our state.

I also want to take the time to thank Sen. Tom Brewer for all his assistance in attaching two of my bills as amendments to his Legislative Bill 236. The first bill attached was LB 173, a bill I introduced earlier this year. Under a previous court decision, people who are transporting a cased, unloaded firearm could be convicted for carrying a concealed weapon illegally. This bill makes it clear that an unloaded firearm in a gun case is not a concealed weapon. When it comes to our state gun laws, clarity matters.

My second bill attached was LB 301. This bill declassifies Epidiolex from the Nebraska drug law, allowing doctors to prescribe it in Nebraska. The medication is used for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older. This is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana (CBD).

The bill also added certain illegal street drugs to our state drug schedules, such as certain "designer" fentanyl opioids. As manufacturers of illegal street drugs cook up new formulas of dangerous drugs, we need to statutorily update our schedules to ensure that law enforcement can get those new and hazardous drugs off the streets.

As always, you are also welcome to contact our office anytime at 402-471-2728 to speak with my administrative assistant Ellie Stangl or my legislative aide Christopher Prosch. You can also email me at bhansen@leg.ne.gov. To follow along with the session, please visit nebraskalegislature.gov or watch the live stream when available at netnebraska.org.

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