GOP Gov: ‘If You Legalize Marijuana You’re Going to Kill Your Kids’

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Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts opposes the legalization of medical marijuana in his state, and warned parents that the substance will “kill your kids.”

“This is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids,” the Republican governor said on Wednesday. “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country.” (Note: Even the CDC says that a fatal overdose from marijuana is quite “unlikely.”)


Ricketts held a press conference this week to rail against a bill that would only make marijuana legal if it were recommended by a health care practitioner, come in oil form, pills, or tinctures. Additionally, the legislation would not make smoking marijuana, even in the privacy of a patient’s home, legal.

Ricketts said the legalization movement is “big industry” trying to skirt federal regulations at the state level.

“Big pot, big marijuana is a big industry. This a big industry that is trying not to be regulated, to go around the regulatory process. And that’s going to put people at risk: when you go around regulations that are designed for the health and safety of our society,” the governor said.

But Democratic State Senator Anna Wishart, who introduced the bill, called bullshit on the governor’s claims on Twitter writing that “facts matter.”

“There are few things in this world that won’t kill you if you do or take too much. The cannabis plant is one of those. Facts matter,” Wishart wrote. Another Democratic local lawmaker also took to Twitter calling what Ricketts said a non-starter.

“It’s really hard to have a reasonable conversation with someone like this,” State Sen. Adam Morfeld tweeted.

But Ricketts doesn’t seem to have the same concerns about alcohol that he does marijuana. Just two days ago, as USA Today pointed out, he endorsed a bill that would make permanent new regulations allowing customers to order alcoholic beverages with their take-out orders. And according to the CDC, “excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year.” But you won’t hear Ricketts yelling about how big take-out is killing our kids.

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Peter Wade