By Hunter Dublin | August 23, 2022
Proposals to legalize medicinal marijuana in Nebraska will not appear on the November general election ballot due to a lack of signatures, according to the state's top elections commissioner.
In a news release from Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen, the Medical Cannabis Regulation Initiative and Medical Cannabis Patient Protections Initiative failed to reach the signature criteria to be placed on the ballot.
To be placed to a vote, each plan required approximately 87,000 signatures — or 7% of the total registered voters — as well as 5% of registered voters in at least 38 of Nebraska's 93 counties.
According to Evnen, the Patient Protections initiative received 77,843 valid signatures, and the 5% criterion was satisfied in only 26 counties. The use of up to 5 ounces of marijuana for legitimate medical reasons would have been permitted under that proposal.
The Cannabis Regulation proposal received 77,119 signatures, and the 5% signature barrier was met in 27 counties. It would have legalized medicinal marijuana possession, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, and dispensing and established a commission to oversee a state medical cannabis program.
The failure came as no surprise. Organizers revealed in early July that they would most certainly fall short of the signature requirement for the November ballot, citing the death of one of the effort's key donors as the reason. As a result, organizers were compelled to rely primarily on volunteers.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and other major state Republican leaders have actively opposed medical marijuana legalization.