OMAHA – For the group Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, the clock is ticking.
On Monday, it was in Omaha, Ralston, Lincoln, Plattsmouth and Seward, collecting what it calls critical signatures. The goal: to get two initiatives legalizing medicinal cannabis on the November ballot.
“We definitely still have a hill to climb,” campaign manager Crista Eggers said. “The requirement is 87,000 valid signatures on each of our two petitions, and we are not there yet.”
The deadline to submit the signatures is July 7.
Sen. Adam Morfeld, who said he was collecting signatures at an event in Waverly, told Fox 42 that getting these initiatives on the ballot is such a big deal because efforts in the Legislature aren’t going well.
“Quite frankly, we haven’t been able to surpass the filibuster mounted in the Legislature each year,” Morfeld said. “So we’ve been forced to go to the ballot and get it on the ballot so that the people will approve it.”
Eggers said 80 percent of Nebraskans approve of medical marijuana, but that her group just need those folks to get out and sign. She said they need 20,000 more over the next three days so they can submit it to them to Secretary of State Bob Evnen.
Advocates said if passed, medicinal marijuana will be more accessible for treatment for PTSD, cancer, seizures and multiple sclerosis. Eggers said some of those very folks who would benefit from it were volunteering with her Monday.
“I have caregivers who should be at home with their loved ones,” she said. “I have patients who can’t be out in the sun, and yet they are because their lives depend on it. “So I need people to keep that in mind when they sit at home and question whether their one signature matters. It absolutely matters.”
Of course, it’s not without its opponents. One of the most prominent is Gov. Pete Ricketts. He has called it a dangerous drug that will impact kids.