Nebraska ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana challenged in court

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The Nebraska Supreme Court will decide whether to allow residents to vote in November on the legalization of medical marijuana – a move that would create business opportunities to cultivate and sell MMJ.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner on Friday filed a challenge to Secretary of State Bob Evnen’s ruling that the medical marijuana ballot initiative qualified to be on the ballot.

Evnen said a day earlier that the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana group had collected well over the 122,275 signatures required to put the issue on the ballot.

Opponents of the measure argue that the measure violates state rules requiring ballot measures to focus on a single question. Lincoln attorney Mark Fahleson, a former Nebraska Republican Party chair, is representing Wagner.

Wagner is arguing that the measure poses two separate questions:

  • Whether residents should have the right to use marijuana for medical purposes.
  • Whether private companies should be allowed to grow and sell it.

Backers of the ballot measure are confident the initiative will survive the legal challenge, saying that medical marijuana has strong support in Nebraska.

Lawyers for the pro-medical marijuana group noted in a letter that the legal challenge is “a last-minute attempt to derail the precious right of the people” to decide on voter-supported initiatives.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily