A University of Nebraska-Lincoln survey published last month estimates that in 2020 and 2021, 83% of Nebraskans supported medical cannabis legalization in the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. The survey also found that in 2020, 40% of state residents supported adult-use reforms and that support increased to 46% last year.
The results of the Nebraska Annual Social Indicators Survey, published May 17 in the Journal of Drug Issues, match with internal polling conducted by Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana that found 80% support for medical cannabis legalization in the state.
The survey comes as activists are collecting signatures for a medical cannabis ballot initiative, hoping to put the issue to voters during the midterm elections.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is an opponent of medical cannabis legalization, going so far as to appear in an ad paid for by SAM Nebraska, an affiliate of anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), saying cannabis is “not medicine.”
“The only difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is word choice,” Ricketts said on the spot. “Doctors can’t prescribe it and pharmacists can’t provide it because it’s not medicine.”
A petition to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska met the number of signatures needed to be put in front of voters in the 2020 general election but was later struck from the ballot by the state Supreme Court, which determined the question violated the state’s single-subject rule for initiatives. Two petitions are currently being circulated: one requiring the Legislature to enact laws protecting doctors and patients, and another protecting private entities that supply and distribute cannabis.
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