By Grant Schulte, Associated Press
(AP) — Nebraska voters will get the chance to decide whether to legalize medical marijuana in November, the state’s top election official announced Thursday, although his decision will likely face an immediate court challenge.
The Nebraska ballot measure would guarantee a constitutional right to use and grow marijuana if a doctor recommends it with no restrictions on what diseases qualify. It would only ban smoking the drug in public places. If voters approve it in the 2020 general election, patients would be free to grow an “adequate” supply.
Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said he’s certain that marijuana opponents will challenge his decision before the Nebraska Supreme Court. The court will likely agree to hear the case quickly, because state law requires Evnen to finalize the ballot by Sept. 11.
Organizers of the ballot measure have said they’re highly confident that the measure will survive a legal challenge and argue that medical marijuana has strong support in Nebraska.
The marijuana measure is viewed as widely popular with Nebraska voters, but faces strong opposition from well-connected Republican leaders, including Gov. Pete Ricketts.
AP Photo Nati Harnik