Nebraska State Sen. Anna Wishart (D) said in a Facebook post that she is working on “ballot language for full adult use legalization,” with plans to introduce it next month. The bid comes after medical cannabis advocates announced in late October that they would launch a ballot initiative to enact the reforms.
The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the group’s 2020 initiative in September over claims that the initiative covered more than one issue.
Wishart, who co-founded Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws in 2019, said the legalization proposal is due to the successful reforms in neighboring South Dakota where voters approved both medical and adult-use legalization during last month’s General Election. The South Dakota legalization measure is being challenged over claims that it covers more than one subject, which violates the state constitution for questions.
Nebraska organizers need 250,000 total signatures to put the issue to voters in 2022.
The Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana initiative was whittled down to one sentence – “Persons in the State of Nebraska shall have the right to cannabis in all its forms for medical purposes” – for its next appearance on the ballot. Advocates hope the singular topic will prevent it from being rejected by the state Supreme Court.
State Senator Adam Morfeld (D), co-chair of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana and co-sponsor of the 2022 initiative, said the medical cannabis proposal “indisputably presents a single subject and makes medical cannabis a constitutional right.”
It’s likely that, once unveiled, the adult-use proposal will follow this precedent with stripped-down language. Wishart indicated that she planned on filing standalone medical cannabis reforms in the legislature in January.