Nebraskan Activists are not wasting any time to give supporting citizens access to legal medical marijuana.
The filing swiftly followed the states Supreme Court's overruling of the medical marijuana initiative that was due to appear on the election ballot in November.
The 2020 initiative had been successful in spite of the odds. Enough signatures were gathered despite a halt on collection during the months leading to submission due to COVID-19.
The Secretary of State marginally approved the initiative, yet an appeal filed by a Nebraskan county Sheriff brought the future of the amendment to the hands of the Supreme Court. With a five to two vote, the initiative was overruled due to the single-subject rule.
The single-subject rule states that the purpose of any initiative needs to be restricted to a single subject. By majority vote, the Justices' ruled that the initiative filed for multiple changes, specifically, the "production" and "use" of the plant. As a result, the initiative was removed from the ballot.
After a devastating blow, activists have bounced back and filed a new initiative for the 2022 election ballot.
Although activists are confident that this language meets the policy criteria, there are doubts that it will be enough to change the Constitution. According to Marijuana Moment, the blanket definition of "medical purposes" may be grounds for confusion.
However, the initiative will "file trailing statutory initiatives to set up a safe and secure medical cannabis system in Nebraska" next year if it fails to pass legislation again.
As it stands, State Senator Adam Morfeld states that the language filed absolutely adheres to the single subject rule. Morfeld is also a co-sponsor for the 2022 initiative.
Following with several statutory initiatives, we will establish a safe and regulated medical cannabis system. Nebraskans have a constitutional right to petition their government, and we will not stop until they can exercise their right and have their voices heard on medical cannabis.Senator Adam Morfeld – Co-chair of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana
Over the next few weeks, an "aggressive campaign" will begin to rally support for the petition. The campaign will also aim to educate communities on medical marijuana.
The campaign will be run by Barry Rubin, who was at the forefront of the 2020 campaign. In conjunction with Morfeld, Ruben states that there is no doubt that the language will pass legislation. "This constitutional language filed today is irrefutable from a single-subject standpoint," states Rubin.
After tireless consultation with judicial and scholarly experts, Rubin states that they are "confident this language cannot be rejected no matter what type of legal and political gymnastics the Court decides to play."
Interestingly, the 2020 state-wide initiative database of signatures "shows almost equal amount" of support from Democrat, Republican, and Independent parties.
The filing language is now under review by the Revisor of Statutes. A response is due in roughly 10 days, according to activists.
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