Holds office Governor
Adamantly against the legalization of marijuana and sees it as a dangerous drug.
A position paper authored by the Governor, entitled "Understanding Marijuana's Dangers," states that cannabis is a gateway drug, and that its use can lead to suicide, and that legalizing access to medical cannabis is simply a tactic to impose broader adult-use legalization. (Link) 2019
A separate commentary authored by the Governor in 2020, entitled “An Honest Look at Marijuana,” concludes: "As Governor, I have a duty to promote public safety. I want Nebraskans to be informed of the dangers of marijuana and to know where I stand on the issue. I firmly oppose legislative legalization and will veto any legislation that attempts to make marijuana use lawful in the Cornhusker State.” (Link) 2019
"No, I've been against legalizing medical marijuana other than going through the process we have through the FDA which is what every other drug goes through. And we actually have seen drugs that are based on marijuana recently this year get legalized. And that's the process we'd need to go through because we need to make sure drugs are safe and effective for what diseases, and what you know measurements and so forth. And that's the proper way to make sure we are protecting the public safety. I know some families out there are really struggling, the process does take awhile but this is what we have to do to make sure we protect the public safety. And as I said, we are seeing progress on this and in fact the state of Nebraska has actually helped fund research that got us to the point where we are seeing some of these drugs now being legalized." 10/17/18 https://www.1011now.com/content/news/Governor-Ricketts-vs-Krist-497287121.html
"As the use of marijuana has been legalized in some states, including our neighbor Colorado, we have been able to observe the impact the legalization of marijuana has had not only in their state, but as well as our own. Legalization of marijuana for any purpose has proven to be a risky proposition because the controls placed on its use in other states have fallen short. Sheriffs I visit with along the Colorado-Nebraska border tell me that the Colorado law has led to increased criminal activity, placing a greater burden on law enforcement in our state.
While Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana, states like California, who attempted to limit marijuana use to a medical purpose, have seen their system abused by marijuana users who access dispensaries for recreational use. While attempts to circumvent the FDA review process may be driven by good will, any legalization effort outside this process puts Nebraskans at risk. For this reason, marijuana should not receive special treatment. Just like any other dangerous drug, marijuana should be subject to the same thorough examination by the FDA to study any potential adverse effects, appropriate treatment schedules, drug interactions, and long-term effects among other topics." (4/28/15) https://governor.nebraska.gov/press/marijuana-dangerous-drug
Office of the Governor Post Office Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848