LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana will deliver over 182,000 signatures on Thursday afternoon for their official ballot initiative petition to the Secretary of State.
The group said they’ve gathered the signatures from all 93 counties in the state to establish legal protections for medical marijuana patients with serious health conditions.
If approved by a majority of voters in November, the initiative would allow patients to access and use medical marijuana as recommended by their physician or nurse practitioner.
State Senator Anna Wishart, co-chair of the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana campaign committee, said: ”Families with loved ones suffering from conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, and cancer have fought for years to make medical cannabis safely accessible. Today represents a huge step forward for thousands of Nebraskans who deserve compassion. We are confident that we’ve met the requirements for ballot qualification, and after seeing the outpouring of support for our petition, we’re even more confident that Nebraska’s voters will approve this initiative in November.”
To qualify for the ballot, the campaign needed to submit over 121,000 valid signatures, representing over 10% of the voters in the state. The campaign also had to collect signatures from at least 5% of voters in a minimum of 38 counties across Nebraska.
Barry Rubin, President of Heartland Strategy Group based in Omaha, spearheaded the signature gathering effort, and said: ”This was a herculean effort that overcame tremendous challenges, including a pandemic that severely impacted our ability to collect signatures on the original timeline. But the dedication of our petition circulators, along with the passionate support for this issue from Nebraskans of all backgrounds, propelled us forward. In the coming months, we will be making the case to voters that establishing a system of safe access for medical cannabis, as 33 other states have done, will be tremendously beneficial for the people of Nebraska.”
Since last year, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana has recruited hundreds of volunteers who gathered over 33,000 signatures for the campaign, including 14,000 collected in just the last two and half weeks.
”This signature drive included a truly impressive feat of grassroots mobilization. We would not have crossed the finish line without the tireless efforts of advocates, patients, families, volunteers, and hardworking Nebraskans who believe in this cause,” said Wishart. “We’re also proud to say that we registered over five thousand new voters from across the state.”
In the coming weeks, state and local officials will tally the signatures collected by the campaign to confirm that enough valid signatures were submitted to qualify the initiative for the November 3 general election ballot.
A decision is expected by mid-August.
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