Nebraska petitioners prepare to turn in signatures to legalize medical marijuana

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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Later this week, Nebraska’s Secretary of State will begin the arduous task of going over more than 100,000 signatures, making sure they are from voters in the state.

Nebraska is one of eleven states without any form of legalized medical marijuana.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana have really stepped up efforts to collect signatures the last few weeks. Thursday is the deadline to turn in signatures.

Organizers need 121,000 signatures and need to collect a certain percentage in at least 38-counties.

The reason for that, according to the experts, is so that a petition drive would be required to talk to people outside the big cities and go into rural Nebraska.

Several the signature gatherers have been families who believe medical marijuana could help ween their epileptic children off all their medications.

The big question - do organizers have enough signatures to put the issue before the voters?

"We are extremely, extremely close. It amazes me we were able to do this during a pandemic and get support from across the state. We're within a thousand or so signatures of getting this across the finish line,” said Anna, organizer.

On Thursday afternoon, organizers will be getting together on the north side of the state capitol to turn in the signatures.

If all goes as planned, Nebraska voters would decide in November whether the state has medical marijuana on the books.

Opponents of medical marijuana, including Governor Ricketts, believe this is the wrong approach -- saying Nebraskans already have access to four FDA medications with chemicals found in the marijuana plant and it doesn't need to be legalized.