Nebraska: Activists Submit Over 182,000 Signatures to Qualify Proposed 2020 Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative

Members of the coalition Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana gathered today at the state capitol in Lincoln to turn in over 182,000 signatures from registered voters in an effort to qualify a medical cannabis legalization measure for the 2020 ballot. 

To qualify, state officials must validate 121,000 signatures. State rules further require that a minimum of five percent of voters in at least 38 of the state’s 93 counties be included in the signature count.

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.” 

Advocates began recruiting volunteers for the ballot initiative effort in 2019 after multiple legislative efforts to legalize medical marjuana in the state failed to gain enough support from lawmakers and Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts. The Governor received an ‘F’ grade 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.”

The proposed initiative amends “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.”

Nebraska is one of the only states in the nation that neither permits regulated access to either whole-plant cannabis or CBD.

Also this week, proponents in both Montana and Arizona provided signatures to state officials in an effort to qualify initiatives legalizing the retail production and sale of cannabis to adults. Adult-use ballot initiatives have already qualified for the ballot in New Jersey and South Dakota. Ballot initiatives to legalize medical access to cannabis will appear on the ballot in Mississippi and South Dakota. 

Additional information on these and other pending 2020 initiative efforts is available here.