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Advocates in Nebraska launch the 2024 Medical Cannabis Ballot Campaign

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Advocates in Nebraska, one of the few remaining states in the United States not to enact medical cannabis legislation, recently filed papers to get the Medical Cannabis Initiative on the ballot in 2024.

According to the Nebraska ExaminerAnd Nebraskan Medical Marijuana It would need more than 200,000 signatures for the initiative to qualify. The group’s spokeswoman, Krista Eggers, hopes people will overcome decisions of the state legislature that refused to listen to their constituents. “We have no choice but to continue petitioning our government,” said Egger. “The legislature refuses to act despite the will of more than 80% of Nebraskans, of all parties, regions, ages, etc., to support it.”

Eggers also spoke to Lincoln Journal Star Hope for medical cannabis. “We know people support this,” said Egger. “We’re going to implement that and put it into practice to get medical cannabis safe and regulated in Nebraska.”

Eger’s eight-year-old son has had epileptic seizures since he was two years old. She and her family tried several medications that did not improve her son’s condition, but eventually they tried medical cannabis with success. She has spent the past seven years advocating and working for legalization for her son and other families across the state.

According to the group’s website, it takes approximately three weeks for the state to ratify the initiative. After that, the group can start collecting signatures.

Medical cannabis can provide relief to struggling Nebraskans. We are among the thousands of families and patients who need access.” Nebraskan Medical Marijuana states on its website. “Whether it’s a neighbor, relative, or friend, most Nebraskans know someone with a serious health condition. But medical cannabis is not an option in our state—even if a doctor recommends it.”

in 2020Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana’s ballot initiative was pulled from the ballot by the Nebraska Supreme Court. The Court stated that the initiative violated the constitutional requirements of the “one subject” rule, prompting the group to create two initiatives instead, which separately addressed the regulatory framework and established protections for caregivers from arrest.

The LB-474 was also introduced in the state legislature in 2021 to consider medical cannabis, but the vote was short in order to pass it. Nicole Hochstein, a mother of a boy with epilepsy in Nebraska, described her feelings as “shattered. Broken. To pieces because they literally voted away from my child’s life.”

A petition campaign in August 2022 failed to receive enough signatures on the 2022 ballot. 184,000 signatures The collection collected wasn’t enough, though Funding problemsThe group decided to continue working until 2024.

In December 2021, former Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts appeared in an advertisement paid for by Smart Approaches for marijuana that reinforced his opposition to the topic of medical cannabis. “The only difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is the choice of words,” said the governor. “Doctors cannot prescribe it and pharmacists cannot provide it because it is not a medicine.”

Earlier that year, he made claim statements that cannabis is “a dangerous drug that will affect our children” and “if you legalize marijuana, you will kill your children.”

Current Governor Jim Belin hasn’t been a strong advocate of cannabis, but in February he reiterated his support for FDA-approved drugs. “I am a 100% believer in the power of prescriptions. This is a place where the FDA has done well over the past several years. I am in favor of prescription marijuana use if it is approved by the FDA,” He said.

Medical cannabis laws still stand lack In other states such as Idaho, Indiana, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In Americans for Safe Access State of the Countries Report 2022All of these states, including Nebraska, are scored “F” across the board for lack of legislation and patient access.

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