NCN Exclusive. Ricketts on Medical Marijuana: Not for His Kids Either

Omaha, NE.—When it comes to the debate over medical marijuana in Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts would hold the public’s overall safety above any hypothetical health concerns of his own children.

Ricketts’ comment part of an exclusive on-camera interview with News Channel Nebraska regarding pending legislation which would legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska. It is currently legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In a statement released Monday, Gov. Ricketts said, “Legislatively approving new drugs would set a precedent for how Nebraska approaches medicine.  For many years, the United States has had the best system of medical research in the world.  We have access to safe and effective pharmaceutical drugs thanks in part to outstanding research universities, peer-reviewed studies, and clinical trials overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ”

Ricketts points to several problems in Colorado where both recreational and medical marijuana is legal.

According to Ricketts, every few days someone in Colorado dies in a marijuana-related car accident  “and every one in six kids who was hospitalized for a respiratory illness was exposed to marijuana.”

Joe Jordan, NCN:  You’ve got kids. If, God forbid, one of them had some debilitating disease and was (in) pain and suffering. You tried everything you could. Wouldn’t you want the opportunity to try something like medical marijuana to see if that would alleviate your child’s pain and suffering?

Gov. Ricketts: Well, I’ve sat down with the families and they’re very sympathetic and I certainly understand where they’re coming from with regard to a child. But we also have to remember we have to protect the entire public…to protect the public safety you really have to make sure it goes through the FDA process….And I know it’s a long process but that is what’s happening and we are getting those drugs.

Joe Jordan, NCN: But you wouldn’t want the opportunity for your own children?

Gov. Ricketts: Again we have to think about the broader issue of public safety here with regard to how we have drugs in our country. To make sure they’re safe and effective and what dosage for what ailments, what side effects and that’s what the FDA process does.

        Joe Jordan, NCN: Would your wife agree with that?

Gov. Ricketts: So, you can talk to my wife but again my wife understands as well that you’ve got to protect the public safety.

See Joe’s Full Interview