Nebraska’s third attempt to put medical marijuana on ballot lacking signatures

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A third attempt to put medical marijuana before Nebraska voters is 30,000 signatures short of its goal.

According to the Nebraska Examiner, the legalization campaign has expressed an “urgent need” to collect many more signatures before its July 3 deadline.

On that date, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana must submit signatures from 7% of registered voters in the state – or a total of 87,000 signatures, plus at least 5% of voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties – Omaha TV station WOWT reported.

Campaign officials in May said they had met the 5% goal with at least 55,000 signatures, but now they need to collect 30,000 more in fewer than four weeks to ensure the medical marijuana referendum makes the November ballot.

That’s based on the collection of 65,000 signatures as of Thursday, according to the Examiner.

The campaign “is ‘no doubt’ farther ahead than in two previous attempts,” the Examiner reported, but the additional 30,000 signatures would help cover the requirement if any of those already obtained are rejected.

Two previous petition drives designed to get MMJ on the ballot in Nebraska failed:

  • In 2022, an MMJ legalization campaign failed to get enough signatures in the minimum number of counties.
  • In 2020, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana gathered enough signatures and also met a requirement that at least 5% of voters in 38 of Nebraska’s counties sign the petition. But the state’s Supreme Court disqualified the measure, arguing that it violated Nebraska’s ballot-measure rule barring activists from bunching multiple issues into a single yes-or-no question for voters to address.