Nebraska state senator pushing to get medical marijuana on the November ballot

Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 6:50 PM CST
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Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is working on a petition to make Nebraska the 34th state to legalize medical marijuana. The group said it could need 160,000 to 180,000 signatures by July to get it on the ballot.

Volunteer for Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, Patricia Petersen, said she's already has a lot of feedback from Nebraskans. "Generally very positive. Most of them are quite excited to sign," Petersen said, "I've had a few people who their mind is closed and they will never open it."

Co-chair of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, Sen. Anna Wishart, said this policy makes more sense than anything else she's done.

"What we've seen with polling is resoundingly over 70 percent of Nebraskans across the state," Sen. Wishart said, "Across demographics, across age groups, rural and urban support legalizing access to medical marijuana."

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is working with two different groups to get this on the ballot: ADOPT and 1st Tuesday Campaigns.

ADOPT is led by former state senator Tom Garrett, who was pushing to legalize medical marijuana while he was a state senator. 1st Tuesday Campaigns is a national strategy and consulting firm hired specifically to pass petitions.

"We've hired a company that has a 100 percent success rate," Sen. Wishart said, "Of qualifying the signature initiatives."

One person opposing the legalization of medical marijuana is Gov. Pete Ricketts. He said he wants voters to realize marijuana is harmful to people.

"When voters hear the truth about this," Gov. Ricketts said, "They'll have the voice to say 'no' to legalizing something dangerous." He also said tobacco and marijuana industries are the ones to blame for medical marijuana possibly coming to Nebraska.

"This is a bunch of outside money that big industry is trying to avoid regulations," Gov. Ricketts said.

Members of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana said all petitions must be signed in person. The group has 70 locations across Nebraska to sign them.