“I changed my mind.” Senator Mike Groene now pushing for medical marijuana

How his decision may change others minds

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- State Senator Mike Groene has been against all forms of marijuana in the past, but has since changed his stance.

A Nebraska mother whose 12-year-old son suffers from epilepsy told Channel 8 News how kids in other states with her son’s condition have seen amazing results.

“Even a reduction of seizures would be such a tremendous thing for my child. It would truly change his quality of life,” said Nicole Hochstein fighting for medical marijuana in Nebraska.

Nicole Hochsein’s son is getting ready for another brain surgery soon.  She explained medical marijuana would give them a different option, before cutting into his brain.

“I don’t understand why my child, just because he lives in Nebraska, doesn’t have that possibility. Doesn’t have that opportunity. Why he can’t try an oil or a pill before we cut into his brain is something I am very passionate about working towards making sure Nebraskans have that opportunity,” said Hochstein.

In the past, Senator Mike Groene was against all forms of marijuana, but after hearing from those who would benefit from medical marijuana, he is thinking differently.

“I changed my mind. If the pharmaceutical industry was not going to address it, we had to as elected officials,” said Senator Mike Groene.

Although supporters say it’s a huge step forward, the way the bill is written still makes it difficult for families who would use it.  One of the restrictions would be for patients to get approval from three separate doctors within a 90 day period.

“Is 90 days even enough time to review 12 years of medical history? Like I said he had brain surgery where they took out four parts of his brain, he has a medical implant. 12 years of different medication, different combinations of medications. How am I also going to get appointments in 90 days with three separate doctors? I am having a hard enough time getting one appointment in 90 days,” said Hochstein.

Senator Groene feels there are still things that need to be worked out with the bill, but that something needs to be done to help Nebraskans.

“The reality is people are going to Colorado, people are going to Iowa, people who are at their last straw looking for relief, are doing it, so we need to help those folks, but also make sure that a drug that can be abused is still being able to be policed by law enforcement,” said Senator Groene.

Senator Groene standing behind this bill may impact others who used to be against it.  Governor Ricketts released a statement saying, “While I continue to have concerns about marijuana use for any reason, I am open to learning more about this bill.” Gov. Pete Ricketts.

While others in law enforcement remain opposed to the idea.

Keep in mind, this bill has only been introduced and has a long road ahead.

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