Supporters of medical marijuana host events in Nebraska to gather enough signatures for ballot

Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 11:44 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Medical cannabis supporters across Nebraska came together Saturday for over 100 events in 35 counties.

It’s all in an effort to get enough signatures to let the voters decide if medical marijuana should be legal.

But, there’s still a long road to get there.

Nineteen-year-old Will Gillen has a form of epilepsy that can cause hundreds of seizures a day.

Will’s father, Dominic says he believes having the option of medical marijuana could help his son.

“We want his quality of life to be better. The fact that a month ago he spent eight days in the hospital due to a seizure fall that broke his jaw in three places. We’d like to see that part hopefully, alleviate that,” said Dominic Gillen.

The Gillen family has been fighting for years to help other families.

Up to this point, the efforts to get medical cannabis legalized in Nebraska have all fallen short.

“It’s literally been nine years of trying to go down to the legislature to get something done and unfortunately that hasn’t worked. The last petition drive didn’t work as well because the supreme court through the petition out,” said Gillen.

But the Gillen family and hundreds of other supporters aren’t giving up. They want the people of Nebraska to decide if it should be legalized.

Now the goal is to get 250,000 signatures by mid-July in order to get it on November’s ballot.

“We are always hopeful because we want our kids and our loved ones to have that opportunity. I will say, we have a lot of work to do and we need everybody’s help. We need the whole state of Nebraska to step up and help us with this effort because of the fact we can’t take for granted the signatures that we got last time, that we will get them this time,” said Gillen.

A spokesperson from Governor Pete Ricketts’ office tells says his views on marijuana have not changed.

Last year, Governor Ricketts published a column on the topic where he says: “States that legalize marijuana outright or incrementally (that is, through “medical marijuana”) have seen a human toll. This has included devastating effects on kids, tragic accidents, decreased participation in the workforce, and horrible mental health outcomes.”

But the Gillen family says they won’t give up.

“I learned a long time ago never to quit five minutes before the miracle happens and we’re going to keep fighting for that and we’re not going to give up because we can’t.”

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