Nebraska Medical Marijuana Initiative Qualifies For Ballot – Ballotpedia News
On August 28, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen (right) announced that the Nebraska Medical Marijuana Initiative had qualified for the ballot over objections filed with the Secretary of State’s office regarding the language of the ballot.
Secretary Evnen received objections on August 26 from attorney Mark Fahleson representing several Nebraskans. The objections argued that the language of the ballot violated the state’s one-topic rule that requires ballot initiatives to address a single issue or topic. Fahleson argued that the right to use marijuana to treat serious medical conditions is not necessarily tied to the supplier’s right to produce marijuana. In his letter determining the legal sufficiency of the initiative, Secretary Evnen responded to this argument by saying, “The production and sale of medical cannabis has a natural and necessary connection with the legalization of medical cannabis for individual use, which is the main purpose of the amendment. . “
Fahleson also argued that the initiative’s provision that allows individuals to personally grow marijuana violates the initiative’s medicinal goals. Secretary Evnen responded that another provision in the amendment fills this gap because it allows the state to make laws and rules to regulate marijuana.
Fahleson also opposed the use in the amendment of the term “serious medical condition” because it was not defined. Secretary Evnen argued that “putting determination in the hands of health professionals is clear enough”.
The amendment, sponsored by Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, would allow adults, with the recommendation of a physician or licensed nurse practitioner, to use, possess, purchase and produce marijuana to relieve a problem of serious health. The initiative would also allow children (under the age of 18), with the recommendation of a physician or licensed nurse practitioner and permission from a parent or legal guardian who is responsible for their decisions in matters health care, to use marijuana to relieve serious illness. Parents of children who use medical marijuana would be allowed to own, purchase and produce marijuana to alleviate their child’s condition.
State Senators Adam Morfeld (D-46) and Anna Wishart (D-27) are the campaign co-chairs. After a two-month suspension from their signature campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign reported submitting 182,000 unverified signatures to the Secretary of State on July 2. Explaining why he is co-chairing the initiative, Senator Morfeld said, “We are quickly being surrounded by states that have sane medical marijuana laws, and we don’t. A lot of Nebraska people look to other states, Utah and Missouri, and say, “Wow, these are conservative states too and they have much more reasonable policies on this than we do. “
In Nebraska, the number of signatures required to qualify a constitutional amendment initiated for the ballot is equal to 10% of registered voters by the signature deadline. According to the July 2020 voter registration report, there were a total of 1,222,741 registered voters in Nebraska. This means that a total of 122,274 valid signatures were required to qualify this initiative for the ballot. Nebraska law also includes a distribution requirement requiring that petitions contain the signatures of 5% of registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of Nebraska’s 93 counties. The Secretary of State verified that 135,055 signatures were valid and that 48 of 93 counties had at least 5% of registered voters who signed the petition. The petition signature validity rate was approximately 74.2%.
There are two committees registered with the state to support the initiative: Nebraska Families for Medical Cannabis and Nebraskas for Medical Marijuana. According to the latest campaign fundraising reports, Nebraska Families for Medical Cannabis raised a total of $ 14,609.38 in contributions, and the Nebraskas for Medical Marijuana raised a total of $ 1.7 million. Ballotpedia has not identified any registered committee in opposition to the initiative. The next campaign funding reports are expected on October 5, 2020.
As of August 2020, 33 states and Washington, DC, had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. Additionally, 15 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD) – one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana – for medical purposes.
On November 3, voters in Nebraska will also decide on a move that would limit the interest rates charged by payday lenders to 36% per year, with a constitutional amendment that would remove language allowing slavery or involuntary servitude. as criminal penalties, and a constitutional amendment that would increase the payback period for funding the tax increase from 15 to 20 years for the extreme scourge.
Between 1996 and 2018, an average of six voting metrics were on the ballot. Voters approved 53% of the 73 voting measures that appeared on the ballots between those years.