Nebraskan Medical Marijuana Initiative may appear on the 2020 ballot.
On July 2nd, the Nebraskan Medical Marijuana Initiative submitted 182,000 signatures across 93 counties in favour of law reform of medical marijuana. As a result, medical marijuana may be added to the ballot in Nebraska in November 2020.
As it stands, medical marijuana remains illegal across the state. However, if approved, the ballot initiative would amend the Nebrasken Constitution, allowing medical marijuana access to patients.
State Senator, Anna Wishart, co-chair of the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana campaign committee, has acknowledged the overwhelming support received for the initiative.
Wishart goes on to state that "…we're even more confident that Nebraska's voters will approve this initiative in November."
At least 10 percent of the voters (121,000 signatures) were required to qualify for the ballot. After submission, signatures will be tallied and validated.
"Families with loved ones suffering from conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, and cancer have fought for years to make medical cannabis safely accessible. Today represents a huge step forward for thousands of Nebraskans who deserve compassion."Anna Wishart, State Senator.
The campaign began in 2018 to introduce compassionate laws for patients. Hundreds of advocates and volunteers have joined the Nebraskan Medical Marijuana Initiative to collect signatures. Just under 50,000 signatures have been collected since last year; an impressive feat amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, signature gatherings were put to a halt during March through May 2020.
"This signature drive included a truly impressive feat of grassroots mobilization. We would not have crossed the finish line without the tireless efforts of advocates, patients, families, volunteers, and hardworking Nebraskans who believe in this cause", states Wishart.
President of Heartland Strategy Group, and leader of the gathering endeavor, Barry Rubin stated that the "dedication" of the advocates of the initiative became the driving force behind its success.
"In the coming months, we will be making the case to voters that establishing a system of safe access for medical cannabis, as 33 other states have done, will be tremendously beneficial for the people of Nebraska."Barry Rubin, President of Heartland Strategy Group
Should the initiative receive enough votes, medical marijuana will be legalised throughout the state. As a result, patients over the age of eighteen will hold the right to access, possess, use, and cultivate marijuana for the treatment of serious medical conditions. It will also allow individuals under the age of eighteen to use marijuana as a treatment under the recommendation of a health care professional. In such cases, parents will hold the right to cultivate, purchase, and possess marijuana on behalf of their children.
The initiative's approval will also, in turn, create the foundation of laws and regulations for a state-wide medical marijuana program.
If the initiative should become approved in November 2020, Nebraska will go on to become the nation's 34th state to legalise medical marijuana.
A decision upon whether the initiative has submitted enough validated votes to qualify for the general election ballot on November 3rd is due in Mid-August.
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