At the beginning of 2020, there were about a dozen states with either medical or adult-use cannabis legalization ballot initiatives, in various stages, in the works. However, the coronavirus pandemic proved challenging for organizations trying to collect thousands of signatures to qualify their ballot initiatives, and some campaigns had to call it quits. The landscape looks very different than it did just a month ago, and now, five states will vote on some form of cannabis legalization this November. One state, Nebraska, still hangs in the balance roughly 60 days before Election Day.
NEBRASKA: Close, but Challenges to Medical Initiative Continue
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana received news Aug. 26 that the organization had collected enough signatures to qualify for a medical cannabis amendment on the November ballot.
“We crushed the 122,000 voter signatures needed statewide — and we qualified in 48 counties!” the group posted on Facebook. The organization collected more than 182,000 signatures, and enough were verified to move forward. “The ballot isn’t certified yet, so we’re still waiting to hear the final word from Secretary of State Bob Evnen. But there’s no doubt that we met the constitutional requirements for signature collection.”
Two days later, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen approved the medical cannabis legalization measure, according to an Associated Press News report, despite opponents urging Evnen to reject the proposal, arguing that the measure violates the state constitution.
Evnen said opponents raised “several valid points” about issues with the initiative’s language, AP News reported, but he ultimately decided that the measure met all the necessary legal requirements to go before voters.
However, the same day Evnen approved the measure, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner filed a challenge.
Opponents of the measure argue that it violates state rules that mandate ballot initiatives must focus on a single