HomeNewsNebraskans For Medical Marijuana Celebrate Signature Success

Nebraskans For Medical Marijuana Celebrate Signature Success

In an amazing turn of events, petitions to get medical marijuana on Nebraska’s November ballot have gathered more than the necessary number of signatures required.

Nebraska remains one of the few states to legalise cannabis; medicinally or recreationally. Nebraskans For Medical Marijuana (NMM) has been trying to change this by getting the issue on the ballot for the state’s voters to decide. NMM’s first attempt in 2020 was able to collect the required number of signatures, but didn’t wind up on the ballot that year due to a court decision relating to the state’s single subject requirements. Another attempt in 2022 failed after not meeting county qualification requirements.

NMM decided to give it another crack for the 2024 ballot, commencing its signature drive in September 2023. It launched two ballot petitions; one for the Patient Protection Act: and another for the Medical Cannabis Regulation Act. The former protects eligible patients and their caregivers from arrest and the latter establishes the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission, which will regulate businesses providing medicinal cannabis.

While getting an early start, signature collection was a mighty challenge. Approximately 87,000 verified signatures were needed for each and NMM was aiming for 95,000 based on verification rejections in previous attempts. In early June, the organisation was still 30,000 signatures short, and just 5 days ago NMM posted:

“We need at least 15,000 more signatures to bring a compassionate medical cannabis program to our state. People with cancer, PTSD, Epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and so much more are counting on us.”

15,000 signatures in 5 days was a very big ask, but the organisation wasn’t indicating it would miss this target in the last couple of days prior to the deadline. But when the deadline hit, the news was very good – with 114,000 signatures for each ballot, or 228,000 signatures in total.

But their effort still has to pass scrutiny from the relevant authorities.

“We expect to find out our status for the November ballot sometime at the end of August,” said NMM. “Until then, thank you to all of our supporters and to everyone that helped us prove that the third time really is the charm.”

Regardless of the outcome this time around, the effort has been an extraordinary achievement and reflects the very high level of support for medical marijuana in Nebraska.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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