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Nebraska Medical Marijuana petition drive needs donors to reach November ballot

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:18 PM CDT
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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) - Efforts to put medical marijuana on the November ballot are in jeopardy.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is running a petition drive, but organizers of the grassroots initiative are running low on funds. Now they’re pleading with the public for a financial rescue.

“I’d say devastating is an understatement,” said Crista Eggers of Gretna. “We’re pleading with you to help.”

Eggers worries that if a group of donors doesn’t come forward in the next week and inject the campaign with a million dollars to hire professional signature collectors, she’ll be forced to move to a state where her son, Colton, who suffers from uncontrollable seizures, is able to get medical cannabis.

It’s a treatment she says has fewer side effects than current drug cocktails.

“Every night I tell my child and others that we will get this done. And to think that we’re falling short, I don’t know what that means. For my family, it means splitting apart. Take one of my children to another state and leave another here. That’s not fair.”

The organization thought it had the money for the final stretch, but one major donor to Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana recently died, and another is sick.

Last time during the height of the pandemic, grassroots volunteers along with paid petitioners gathered 196,000 signatures.

But in the 11th hour, the Nebraska Supreme Court tossed it from the ballot.

For years Gov. Ricketts has been a major opponent of medical marijuana, believing it opens the flood gates to allowing recreational use in the state.

In March 2021, Ricketts said: “This is a dangerous drug that will impact kids. If you legalize marijuana, you’re going to kill your kids.”

For eight years Nebraska families have urged state lawmakers to come up with a plan for medical cannabis, or else Nebraska voters would take care of it.

“If what we needed was grit, and drive, and determination, we have that,” Eggers said. “Our campaign would be done and over if that’s what we needed. But unfortunately, the one thing our campaign doesn’t have - and has to have - is money.”

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana needs to turn in a minimum of 87,000 valid signatures by early July to get it on the ballot.

“This is still a canal to nowhere, a political stunt, and a waste of taxpayers dollars and this misguided decision continues to threaten the private land of hardworking farmers and ranchers without being able to get any more water for Nebraska or Colorado. Total waste.”

Spokesperson of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

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