Nebraska votes on marijuana
Nebraska votes on marijuana

Will 2022 Finally Be the Year for Marijuana Legalization in Nebraska?

Cannabis advocates plan a ballot campaign and take the marijuana movement to the voters!

Posted by:
jsp1073 on Wednesday Aug 18, 2021

Will 2022 Finally Be the Year for Marijuana Legalization in Nebraska?

Nebraska votes on weed legalization

The Nebraska Medical Marijuana is focused on making sure pro-cannabis bills are legalized come 2022 through the ballot box.

The United States of America as a whole is coming to accept marijuana as a beneficial drug whose pros outweigh its cons.

The reluctance of the house to pass the introduced bills in the last year has caused the state of Nevada to be one of the remaining 14 states yet to have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

The other states are Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


Previous Approaches Towards Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Nebraska

The most recent measure was around May 2021, everyone was so sure that the state was about to approve medical marijuana. All hopes got dashed when the bill failed to get enough votes to scale through the GOP-led filibuster

The bill was sponsored by Senator Anna Wishart and Senator Adam Morfeld. It was modified several times for the document to be passed by the judicial committee. Though limited in a way, the bill would have allowed Nebraskans to be prescribed medical-based marijuana products to treat medical conditions.

Both co-sponsors remain ardent advocates for the legalization of cannabis in the state and are strongly behind the Nebraska Medical Marijuana committee.

Another failed campaign to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska was in 2020. Efforts were made to include the measure in the 2020 ballots. The state Supreme Court shut it all down due to a single-subject challenge.



The Nebraska Medical Marijuana (NMM)

This is a recognized political committee based in Nebraska. The committee was formed by marijuana advocates in Nebraska to support the 2022 ballot measure that has begun to legalize the medical use of marijuana in the state.

The group has an official website. They have always expressed that they believe in the rights of patients to easily access the best and affordable medical cannabis to manage serious health issues.


Recent activities by the Nebraska Medical Marijuana (NMM)

The NMM announced in June the group will be drafting various ballot initiatives that complemented one another. In addition to this, a short constitutional amendment would also be written. The short modification would state that residents of the state of Nebraska possess the right to cannabis in different forms for its therapeutic benefits.

The marijuana advocates in the NMM have revealed that they'll be picking out and supporting two separate initiatives as a strategy to have the marijuana bills on the 2022 ballot boxes.

The group unveiled they'll put in the effort to ensure a pair of complementary initiatives qualify to be put out to voters in the 2022 elections.

The group, having learned from past mistakes, is trying out this strategy to prevent being disqualified again by the state's single-issue rule for citizen initiatives.

Last year, one of such policies invalidated a legalization measure that had already qualified to be included in the ballot boxes for the general elections that were held in late 2020.

The group plans to scrap the pared-down language and instead work in unison with these two separate initiatives.

One of the bills is directed at the legislature to pass a bill containing legal protection for doctors and patients on the use of cannabis.

The second bill would direct the lawmakers to approve the production and sale of medical marijuana products by private companies in the state.


Senator Anna Wishart, one of the co-chairs of the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana and also a co-sponsor of the bill that failed in May 2021, in an interview said that the new strategy has a higher chance of overcoming legal challenges that may be encountered.

Sen. Wishart also said the main goal of the NMM, for now, is putting in place a language that the group feels confident about. "We have looked at every type of potential challenge that could come and we feel we have addressed it," said Sen. Wishart.

Both senators Wishart and Morfeld revealed in a statement last year that they had plans to put before Nebraska voters in 2022 the issue of legalizing marijuana for adult use. They thought it was a given that the medical cannabis measures would have been passed in session in May.

Right now, everyone is backing the medical marijuana measures for 2022 ballots and it cannot be stated for now if recreational cannabis is still in the works for the 2022 ballot. Although it is very unlikely.


more details…

Nebraska Medical Marijuana (NMM) has also partnered with other advocates ag organizations like Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), ACLU, and other groups. These groups are working with the NMM to perfect the new petitions and ensure they're rock solid.

The MPP's campaign manager, Jared Moffat in a message said that the new initiatives are being properly vetted by all groups. This way opponents would have a very hard time trying to nullify the language used in either initiative. It would be unlikely that the measures would be left off the ballot boxes in 2022.

Regarding the collection of signatures for these new initiatives, Crista Eggers, the signature drive collector for the NMM has said that the group is planning to "hit the ground running on a mass scale "once the texts have been finalized.

Eggers told other activists in a Facebook chat some days ago that the team is “very close to having the petition language ready to file”.

She also said that the petitions are also being vetted by seasoned lawyers to make sure it is without exploitable vulnerabilities.

Efforts will also begin to raise regional momentum and pressure for the cause.



Bottom Line

The Nebraska Medical Marijuana committee is taking its time to make sure the documents are foolproof.

The major fear this time around is that there would be a low turnout of voters during the midterm elections in 2022. Hopefully, the NMM has plans in place to ensure at least the required number of voters show up.

If only Governor Pete Ricketts' stance against cannabis reform measures could change, but fingers remain crossed.





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