Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) has formally kicked off its signature collection drive to put the legalization of medical cannabis before Nebraskan voters in November 2024.
This is the third time NMM has attempted to get the issue on the ballot. While its campaign collected more than enough signatures in 2020 – NMM’s first crack – it was kicked off the ballot by a court decision due to the state’s single subject requirements.
The second initiative in 2022 ran into funding problems when the campaign’s main donor was killed in a plane crash. The campaign went ahead regardless on a “grassroots budget” and was able to collect more than 180,000 signatures. But it failed to meet the county qualification requirements.
This time around, NMM is getting in early and going hard.
“There was never a question that we would come back for a third time. This issue is not one we can give up on; it’s people’s lives we are fighting for,” said Crista Eggers, NMM’s campaign manager. “We started collecting earlier than we ever have, ensuring we have time on our side. We know that Nebraskans want to see this on the ballot, and we are going to do just that.”
NMM has two petitions – one in relation to a doctor/patient system and another to regulate the industry.
The first would protect patients and their caregivers from arrest for the use of medical cannabis as recommended by an appropriately authorised health care provider. The other is in relation to establishing the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission to regulate private businesses providing medical cannabis to qualified patients.
NMM’s campaign requires at least 87,000 verified voter signatures for each petition to qualify – and the deadline to file petition sheets and signatures is July 3, 2024. Election Day is November 5, 2024.
“Our movement has faced setbacks before, but our campaign for compassion is stronger than ever before,” states the group. “The sky does not fall when patients have safe, legal access to medical cannabis. Thirty-six states have implemented these kinds of programs, and no state has ever repealed their medical cannabis law.”