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BROKEN BOW—A petition to include medical marijuana on the Nebraska ballot this November is circulating in Custer County. The petition aims to “amend the Nebraska Constitution to provide the right to use, possess, access, and safely produce cannabis, and cannabis products and materials, for serious medical conditions as recommended by a physician or nurse practitioner.”

Ansley native, Crystal Hurt, is in Custer County until Friday to collect signatures for the petition–which requires approximately 130,000 total signatures to qualify for the Nebraska 2020 ballot.

In an interview with KCNI/KBBN, Hurt said this will give Nebraskans the opportunity to vote on the ballot measure.

“If you sign the petition effectively you are saying ‘yes’ we want the option to vote on it in November,” Hurt said.

Crystal Hurt said she began as a volunteer, but now works as a paid circulator for Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana. She first became involved because she has seen firsthand how medical marijuana can potentially help people with serious medical conditions. Hurt said she has a good friend battling cancer and uses medical marijuana to help her sleep and reduce pain and inflammation. She added that medical marijuana would require a prescription.

“Everybody knows someone with a serious medical condition. People with cancer who, you know, have no appetite and are losing weight it can help them regain that appetite. It helps with insomnia if people can’t sleep and I’ve talked to several people who are really ready for an alternative to opioids. People that have chronic severe pain and have been on pain and have been on pain killers forever and don’t want to try this because it’s illegal could really benefit if it was made legal,” Hurt continued. “It doesn’t seem like people who really benefit from it should feel like criminals or have to go to another state.”

As for people who are against medical marijuana and express concerns for it leading to further drug use or legal recreational use, Hurt said she tries to understand their perspectives and explain the difference between synthetic drugs vs. something that is grown. Hurt also understands that some people may not want the cannabis tourism in the state and she said she does not think this ballot measure is a step toward that.

“It’s not easy to convince people around here that are set one way but I do encourage people to think about the loved ones that they have and think about those people that could benefit and really examine where that fear comes from,” Hurt said.

She encourages people to sign the petition and to do research if they are on the fence about the ballot measure of medical marijuana. Hurt also said she will leave some petitions at Sly’s or the Smoke Shack in Broken Bow.

Message Crystal via Facebook for more information or call 308-750-5325. Hurt now lives in Omaha and works in Freemont as a middle school reading specialist.

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