Forty-four U.S. states permit some form of medical cannabis. Nebraska is one of the six states that does not.

That could change if LB 622 gains a foothold with state senators this session. The time has come for Nebraska to offer that option to those who are struggling with chronic illnesses.

The bill, known as the Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln. Under the bill, individuals over the age of 21 with a background free of any felonies could be eligible for medical cannabis by prescription.

In adopting the act, the state would allow for up to four cannabis dispensaries, or compassion centers, per congressional district with one manufacturer per congressional district.

The act would generate some sales tax revenue for the state, but that’s not reason enough to pass it. It’s an option for our overused and abused pain killers. Wishart noted that pain killer deaths have dropped 25 percent in states that have allowed medical cannabis. More telling is that no state has repealed their law after passing it.

Opponents have expressed concern over the dangers of introducing medical marijuana fearing it will lead to more drug use. Well, we already have more drug use.

This law isn’t about legalizing marijuana for recreational use. It’s about providing another alternative, a natural one at that, to help relive pain and suffering.

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