Nebraska advocates rekindle medical cannabis legalization efforts

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A group of marijuana advocates in Nebraska have renewed efforts to secure enough signatures to bring two specific medical cannabis legalization issues to voters in 2024.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM), which is comprised of patients and their families, patient advocates and state legislators, filed a ballot initiative with the Secretary of State to establish an MMJ program and regulate it, the Associated Press reported.

The group, which has been unsuccessful twice in using ballot referendums to spur medical legalization, will need to secure 87,000 verified voter signatures to qualify for the November 2024 general ballot, according to the campaign’s website.

The deadline to secure and file the signatures for the Patient Protection Act and the Medical Cannabis Regulations Act is July 5.

Last year, two initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska failed to gather enough signatures to appear on the November ballot.

In September 2020, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that a medical marijuana legalization measure that was set to appear on that year’s November ballot was unconstitutional.

The ruling, a win for the state’s social conservatives, would have created business opportunities to cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner filed the challenge, with justices concluding the MMJ proposal violated Nebraska’s “single-subject rule” for ballot measures.

That rule bars activists from bunching multiple issues into a single yes-or-no question for voters.