Strict Nebraska medical cannabis bill stalls; ballot measure is next step

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A restrictive medical cannabis bill met its demise in the Nebraska Legislature on Wednesday after state lawmakers failed to overcome a filibuster.

The bill, sponsored by Nebraska Sen. Anna Wishart, would have legalized MMJ only for patients with 17 medical conditions and would have prevented home cannabis cultivation by patients, according to the Associated Press.

Wishart framed the bill as a “last chance” for state legislators to approve regulation of medical marijuana before the issue returns to voters in a ballot measure expected next year, AP reported.

A 2020 ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana failed last September after the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled the bill was unconstitutional because it ran afoul of the state’s “single-subject rule” for ballot measures.

Nebraska cannabis advocates are planning a revised ballot measure in 2022.

“To the families, I am sorry I failed again and I promise not to give up,” Wishart tweeted on Wednesday.

“Now onward to the ballot.”

For now, Nebraska remains one of only a few U.S. jurisdictions where cannabis is still completely illegal for any purpose.