Legal marijuana could be on the horizon for Nebraska in 2020. While medical cannabis will be the primary focus of a new committee formed by two state lawmakers, they will also explore putting adult-use legalization on the ballot.
The group, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, is partnering with national organization Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which will lend support as local advocates work to secure ballot placement and determine whether broader legalization could also pass in the conservative state.
Nebraska Sens. Anna Wishart (D) and Adam Morfelt (D) took the first step on Thursday, filing initial committee paperwork with the Nebraska secretary of state in advance of their planned medical cannabis initiative. The measure will seek to change state law though a constitutional amendment.
— Senator Adam Morfeld (@Adam_Morfeld) December 13, 2018
“Elected officials have had their opportunity to take action and failed,” Morfelt said in a press release. “Patients cannot wait any longer, and it’s now time for Nebraska voters to decide this issue.”
While the committee’s immediate plan will be to qualify the medical cannabis initiative for the ballot, it will also actively explore the possibility of broader reforms such as recreational marijuana legalization. The group will now start to form steering committees, draft the first initiative, raise money and conduct public opinion research in order to “determine the level of support for additional reforms.”
MPP Deputy Director Matt Schweich, who is on the new committee, told Marijuana Moment that medical cannabis reform is the “minimum” the group will pursue.
“Over next few months, we will determine whether multiple initiatives addressing other areas of marijuana policy reform would also be viable,” he said. “Those decisions will be guided by public opinion research and the single subject rules that govern ballot initiatives in Nebraska.”
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.