Marijuana activists in the state of Nebraska announced this week that they have submitted two medical marijuana initiatives to legalize medical cannabis.
The initiatives are aimed to be put on the state’s 2022 ballot.
The advocacy group Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, which is pursuing the ballot for the second time, says it expects the secretary of state’s office to sign off on the language of the measures by the end of September.
At this point the activists will be cleared to begin collecting the roughly 250,000 signatures required to qualify each of the initiatives. They will be given until July 7, 2022 to turn in enough valid submissions.
The group had collected enough signatures to qualify a medical marijuana legalization measure for the 2020 ballot but the state Supreme Court invalidated it because it violated the single-subject rule for citizen initiatives.
One of the initiatives would direct the legislature to pass a bill establishing legal protections for patients and doctors around cannabis. The other initiative would require lawmakers to pass legislation allowing private companies to produce and sell medical marijuana products. The text has not been released yet.
Jared Moffat, campaigns manager for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who is also helping to coordinate the state effort, told Marijuana Moment that his group is “really happy to see this campaign moving forward.”
“It’s remarkable how much public support there is for medical cannabis in Nebraska despite extreme opposition from some Republican politicians in the state,” he said.
“It has to be credited to the families and patient advocates who have steadily made the case for compassion to their neighbors through years of educating and organizing. The politicians aren’t listening to these parents and suffering patients, but I think the voters certainly will.”
Politician Adam Morfeld is working with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana.
“It’s heartbreaking and senseless that politicians are standing in the way of families and patients who desperately need safe, legal access to medical cannabis,” Morfeld said in a press release. “But we will not stop fighting for them. We hope that every Nebraskan will stand with us and help our campaign succeed by getting involved and supporting the effort however they can.”