Former police officer asks Nebraska to legalize medical marijuana

Is the war on drugs working in the U.S.?

One former police officer says “no.”  That’s part of the reason why he’s urging lawmakers to loosen marijuana laws in Nebraska.

As a former undercover narcotics officer, Brian Gaughan says he’s seen just about all there is to see in the world of illegal drugs.

“The war on drugs really was not a war on drugs, it was a war on people,” he said.

That’s why Gaughan became a speaker for law enforcement against prohibition—an organization that believes government should control and regulate drugs, legally.

“We should have learned a long time ago from the prohibition of alcohol.  Prohibition does not work.  It breeds violence and that’s what we’re seeing,” Gaughan said.

Friday, he will speak in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska.

“I think there really is an overwhelming amount of evidence that it is safe and it does work for people.”

The bill has been met with resistance by lawmakers, including Attorney General Doug Peterson.

“It doesn’t take long that there’s abuse with that and it becomes readily available to people who don’t really have the medical need,” Peterson told Channel 8 News back in January.

Gaughan says that wouldn’t be an issue if the state would follow suit with states like Colorado and Washington, and legalize the drug all together.

“The state really needs to take those rules and laws out, and not make this a law enforcement issue and focus on what it truly is.  It’s a public health issue,” said Gaughan

Peterson argues there’s a better way to advocate for medical marijuana.

“If you’re going to do that, go through the federal process of making sure it’s an approved drug and then law enforcement will not be placed in such a difficult position,” Peterson said.

If this particular bill is passed, recreational marijuana use would still be illegal.

Gaughan says he expects to be the only one on Friday representing any type of law enforcement group, in favor of this bill, during the hearing.