420 with CNW — Recreational Cannabis Legalization Advocates in Nebraska Aim for 2022

December 11, 2020 16:25:35

A group that was campaigning for the medical cannabis initiative on the November ballot in Nebraska is now planning to seek a vote on legalizing the use of recreational cannabis in the state. While their earlier initiative was unsuccessful, officials with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana stated recently that in January 2021 they would be introducing the ballot language for the full adult use of cannabis. This would include both recreational and medical use.

Adam Morfeld and Anna Wishart, advocates of the initiative, stated that they made this decision based on the ballot measure that was approved in South Dakota. That initiative allows the use of both recreational and medical cannabis. Their decision was also based on the vote held on Saturday that called for the advancement of a legalization measure in the House of Representatives.

Morfeld stated that individuals living in rural conservative areas were not only open minded about recreational use of cannabis but also the use of medical cannabis. He added that he was frequently asked why the medical cannabis initiative he was gathering signatures for wouldn’t also include the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.

On the other hand Wishart stated that it made sense for the group to seek the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, given that two states that border Nebraska — South Dakota and Colorado —  had both legalized its recreational and medical use. Voters in South Dakota approved the measure to legalize cannabis for recreational use during the November elections, becoming the 15th state to do so. Wishart also explained that residents of Nebraska could be convicted if they bought any cannabis product in the aforementioned states and brought it back with them to Nebraska.

Wishart added that the revenue that was raised from sales of cannabis and its derivatives could be utilized in many ways. These include reducing property taxes and financing better mental health services.

Both senators chaired an effort to allow Nebraska voters to vote in the now-passed November elections to legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes. However, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered the ballot measure to be removed after it was challenged in court by a group with ties to Republican activists. The group argued that the measure did not adhere to the constitutional requirement of a single subject, which was false. This decision was also reached, despite the fact that the initiative had collected more than enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot.

State leaders, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, had opposed the medical cannabis measure.

Elsewhere, state-legal cannabis markets are thriving. For example, Gage Cannabis Co. is causing a stir on the Michigan market with its indoor-grown, small-batch premium marijuana products.

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