A 2022 ballot campaign for medical Cannabis is underway in Nebraska, reports KLIN. Led by a coalition of families, patients, and state senators, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana wants to qualify a pair of initiatives ahead of the November election next year. To accomplish that goal, they’re gathering roughly 250,000 signatures across the state before the July 7, 2022 deadline.
The campaign recently filed drafts of the measures with the Nebraska Secretary of State. The group expects to begin circulating petitions later this month. Crista Eggers, a mother of two, is leading the effort to organize a statewide signature drive.
One of Eggers’ sons, Colton, who is six years old, has severe intractable epilepsy. With other families and patient advocates, Eggers helped build a grassroots movement to establish a medical marijuana program in Nebraska.
State Senators Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, who have championed medical Cannabis bills in the Legislature, are helping the effort.
Signature Drive Will Launch By End Of September
Eggers said she is excited to officially launch the signature drive by the end of the month. She is calling on her fellow Nebraskans to be part of the quickly growing grassroots campaign:
“We’ve received so much encouragement from individuals all across the state, who support the many patients like our son Colton, who desperately need access to this medicine,” Eggers said. “No matter what your political background is, we should all agree that criminalizing a medicine that has the potential to alleviate suffering, is both cruel and inhumane.
“The current policy doesn’t reflect our family values here in Nebraska, and we’re going to change that,” she said. “We need everyone who believes in compassion for suffering individuals like my son, to be part of this movement and help us win in 2022.”
Here’s Why There Are Two Nebraska Initiatives
This is the group’s second time attempting to get the ballot for marijuana reform, reports Marijuana Moment. While they collected enough signatures to qualify a medical marijuana legalization measure for the 2020 ballot, the Nebraska Supreme Court invalidated it because it violated the single-subject rule for citizen initiatives.
When Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana got that measure for the ballot, they had submitted nearly 200,000 signatures. But they were then stymied by the court.
Activists aren’t going to let that happen this time around. The campaign deliberately chose a dual approach with the complementary proposals, precisely to avoid such a legal conundrum.
One of the initiatives would direct the legislature to establish legal protections for patients and doctors around marijuana. Meanwhile, the other would require lawmakers to pass legislation allowing private companies to produce and sell medical Cannabis products. The text hasn’t been released yet. But the campaign says it intends to post the full measures after the state formally approves their language.
A separate effort in the legislature this session stalled when supporters failed to muster enough votes to overcome a GOP-led filibuster.
Nebraska State Senator Lends His Support
“It’s heartbreaking and senseless that politicians are standing in the way of families and patients who desperately need safe, legal access to medical Cannabis,” said Nebraska state Senator Adam Morfeld. “But we will not stop fighting for them. We hope that every Nebraskan will stand with us and help our campaign succeed by getting involved and supporting the effort however they can.”
The campaign has recruited hundreds of volunteers from more than 50 Nebraska counties so far. They are working to organize local teams and mobilize supporters to be part of the grassroots signature drive.
The campaign plans to release the full text of both initiatives once the petitions are officially approved by the state. That will likely occur this month.