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State Sen. Morfeld disputes attorney general’s comments about medical marijuana bill, petition

January 18, 2019

A state senator from Lincoln is calling out Attorney General Doug Peterson for saying a petition and bill that would legalize medical marijuana are motivated by the marijuana industry.

State Sens. Adam Morfeld and Anna Wishart of Lincoln are the co-sponsors of a petition drive to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska, and Wishart introduced a bill that would do the same.

Peterson made the comments Wednesday on an Omaha radio show.

“We know it (the bill and petition drive) is coming from an industry that … is making billions and wants to sweep the country with access to some very high-potency marijuana,” Peterson said.

Morfeld tweeted an open letter he sent to Peterson on Thursday.

“In the future,” Morfeld wrote, “if you are curious as to my motives, instead of pondering them on the radio, I would encourage you to call my cell phone, send me a text message, message me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or email, drop by my office or arrange time for coffee — a courtesy I have always extended to you, despite our differences from time to time.”

Morfeld invited Peterson to his home or office to discuss what he said is his motivation: people suffering from PTSD, seizures, chronic pain and opioid addiction.

“I will clear my schedule,” he wrote.

Morfeld said he hadn’t received a response by early Thursday evening.

Peterson’s office responded to questions about the matter in a statement Thursday afternoon: “The Attorney General has been clear about the public health risks legalized marijuana poses, particularly the risk it creates for our young people. He has visited with countless Nebraskans including many Senators and will continue to do so.”

Peterson said on the radio that Colorado should be studied to see the effects of recreational marijuana. The state has seen higher intoxicated driving rates, he said.

“There’s no doctors in white coats coming and saying, ‘Hey, these are great treatment options, and your citizens need it,’ ” Peterson said. “That’s not where this comes from. It’s an industry that wants to profit.”

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