Nebraska Governor Claims Legalizing Medical Cannabis Will “Kill Your Kids”


Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.In response to efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska, the state’s Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts trotted out the oldest anti-weed trope in the book: “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE): “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids.”
— The Recount (@therecount) March 12, 2021

Where to begin? Sure, driving high can lead to a fatal car crash, but even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that “a fatal overdose is unlikely”—and that most people who use marijuana don’t go on to use other drugs.
And we’re not even talking about recreational weed. We’re talking about a plan to allow people with qualifying medical conditions to receive prescriptions from their doctors. Medical cannabis, now legal in 33 states and DC, has been shown effective at treating chronic pain, reducing nausea from cancer treatments, and alleviating loss of appetite associated with HIV/AIDS.
As justification for his anti-cannabis stance, Ricketts cited two instances of people who consumed extremely high doses of marijuana and then died by suicide. One was a 19-year-old who jumped from a balcony in 2014 after eating six times the recommended dose of a marijuana cookie. The other was a 23-year-old who had been consuming dabs, a highly concentrated form of THC, in the weeks leading to his death. While tragic, such cases are extremely rare—and have nothing to do with medical weed.
For more logic along the lines of Ricketts’, see Reefer Madness (1936):