By Associated Press
(AP) — Nebraska voters will likely get to weigh in on a measure to legalize medical marijuana after advocates announced Thursday that they have enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.
Organizers of the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana campaign said they’ve gathered 182,000 signatures. To qualify for the ballot, the campaign needed to turn in more than 121,000 valid signatures, representing more than 10% of the voters in the state. Campaign officials also needed to collect signatures from at least 5% of voters in at least 38 Nebraska counties.
“Today represents a huge step forward for thousands of Nebraskans who deserve compassion,” said state Sen. Anna Wishart, of Lincoln, who co-chaired the campaign committee. “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.”
Supporters of medical marijuana launched the campaign after Nebraska lawmakers repeatedly rejected similar measures to legalize and regulate the drug for people with medical conditions. Campaign officials gathered far more signatures than they needed because some are likely to be declared invalid.
Barry Rubin, a consultant who led the signature-gathering effort for the marijuana measure, said the petition campaign was a “herculean effort” because the campaign was hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik