Medical marijuana bill passage: Could it lead to MMJ legalization in Nebraska?

Last night's passage of HB 1284, the bill to regulate the medical marijuana industry, sends a message that could accelerate campaigns to legalize MMJ in other states -- including Nebraska, where advocates are already exploring a possible 2012 ballot initiative.

As reported by Toke of the Town, the Village Voice Media empire's marijuana blog, Nebraska lawmakers have shown little interest in MMJ legislation. But three members of the state's pharmacy board plan to quiz colleagues on the subject at a conference later this month -- and since the Iowa pharmacy board has already endorsed the idea of medical marijuana there, they'll probably hear at least some cautious encouragement to loosen the rules in their Big Red state.

It won't be an easy sell, particularly given Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman's MMJ opposition. But after what happened at the Colorado capitol yesterday, it's a good bet at least some smoke will drift eastward.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts