On July 2, Nebraska activists submitted almost 200,000 signatures to put medical cannabis on the ballot in 2020. The state is one of a handful of states in the U.S. that doesn’t allow regulated access to whole-plant cannabis or CBD.
Members of the coalition ‘Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana’ gathered at the state capitol. They handed over signatures from 182,000 registered voters. To qualify, state officials need to validate 121,000 signatures. State rules also stipulate that at least five percent of voters in at least 38 of the state’s 93 counties are included in the validated signature tally.
The proposed initiative would amend the Nebraska Constitution. It aims 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).
Medical marijuana advocates started recruiting ballot initiative volunteers in 2019. Previous legislative efforts haven’t been enough to garner support from lawmakers and Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts (R). Not surprisingly, NORML gave Governor Ricketts an ‘F’ from NORML in its 2020 Gubernatorial Scorecard. In a 2020 position paper, he wrote, “I firmly oppose legislative legalization and will veto any legislation that attempts to make marijuana use lawful in the Cornhusker State.”
In an interview with NORML, Campaign co-chair, Nebraska State Senator Anna Wishart, said: “We are confident that we’ve met the requirements for ballot qualification, and after seeing the outpouring of support for our petition, we’re even more confident that Nebraska’s voters will approve this initiative in November.”