Nebraska's tough approach to medical marijuana may backfire

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska's conservative lawmakers are again expected to reject a measure calling for highly regulated medical marijuana, but that likely won't be the end of the issue.

In fact, such a vote could have the unintended consequence of encouraging a voter-approved ballot measure that would establish one of the most unrestricted medical marijuana laws in the country. If so, Nebraska will join other conservative states with unusually easy marijuana access, all because red-state lawmakers refuse to touch the issue.

Legislators could approve a bill that requires people to get a state-issued registry card, limits the potency of marijuana, allows its use only for certain medical conditions and limits the amount of the drug people can possess.

However, the bill's sponsor says passage is unlikely, so advocates will turn to voters.

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