Today, members of Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws submitted a constitutional amendment proposal to the Nebraska Secretary of State. The campaign, which is supported by MPP, aims to put the language on the ballot for voter approval in the November 2020 election. Read the full text of the proposal here.
Now is a critical time for the campaign to begin building resources to ensure the proposal qualifies for the ballot. Please make a contribution to support this important effort to pass a compassionate medical marijuana law in Nebraska.
If successful, the initiative would establish constitutional protections for patients who receive a recommendation from their physician or nurse practitioner to use medical marijuana. It would also lay the groundwork for the state to establish a regulated system of production and sales to registered patients through dispensaries.
After years of obstruction in the Nebraska Legislature, it is exciting to see an effort to bring this important issue to voters. If you can, please pitch in $25 or $50 to help the campaign prepare for the work ahead.
When it comes to changing hearts and minds on medical marijuana, there's nothing more powerful than a roomful of patients and their loved ones sharing their stories. On Friday of last week, lawmakers listened to hours of testimony in favor of establishing a compassionate law that would end the practice of treating patients as criminals.
Alongside patients who had travelled from across the state and Sen. Anna Wishart — primary sponsor of the bill to legalize medical marijuana — sat MPP's director of state policies, Karen O'Keefe, who explained how the legislation would benefit thousands of Nebraskans.
The momentum for medical marijuana is growing, but we need you in the fight. If you agree that patients and their families deserve compassion, please contact your state senator and ask them to get behind LB 110.
Despite opposition from Gov. Ricketts, the effort to establish a compassionate medical marijuana program in Nebraska is picking up steam like never before. On the same day as the legislative hearing, the 2020 ballot campaign committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, held its kickoff fundraiser in Lincoln and over 100 people attended!
There are reasons to be optimistic about the prospects for marijuana policy reform in Nebraska. But we need you to get involved.
The push for medical marijuana is heating up in Nebraska — and we need you to be part of it!
Sen. Anna Wishart recently introduced a bill that would establish a compassionate program for individuals with serious health conditions. With a doctor's approval, qualifying patients would be able to safely access medical marijuana under this legislation.
Thirty-two states, including Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri, have adopted laws to legalize medical marijuana. It's time for Nebraska to do the same. Take action and forward this email to others so they can contact their state senators, too.
One last thing: While we are hopeful that Nebraskan lawmakers pass Sen. Wishart's bill this year, a newly formed committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, is preparing to introduce a 2020 ballot initiative with MPP's support. Sign up to receive email updates from the campaign here, and if you live in or near Lincoln, please attend the campaign's kickoff fundraiser this Friday, January 25! Get more details and RSVP here.
Thank you for your support!
Yesterday, Nebraska Sen. Anna Wishart introduced Legislative Resolution 293CA. If the Legislature passes this resolution, Nebraskans will finally have the chance to vote on medical marijuana. “Tens of thousands of Nebraskans are needlessly suffering because they don’t have access to medical cannabis, including veterans, children and the terminally ill,” Sen. Wishart said. “Nebraska leaders have failed to act and provide these Nebraskans and their doctors the freedom to make decisions for their patients, without fear.”
Sen. Wishart has been a stalwart ally to patients in Nebraska, having been the primary sponsor of last year’s medical marijuana bill. The legislature failed to act on this important issue in last year’s session, but with this year’s resolution, the legislature could let the people of Nebraska make the right choice to give patients access to medicine they desperately need.
A February 2017 poll showed that 83% of Nebraskans support medical marijuana conceptually, and 77% support the ballot initiative.
If you are a Nebraska resident, please tell your senator to give you and your fellow Cornhuskers the chance to vote on medical marijuana.
Today is the day! This is the biggest election in marijuana policy reform history, but even if you can't vote on a legalization or medical marijuana ballot initiative today, you could play an important part to make future progress possible in your state.
Before you vote, please check out MPP's voter guides if you live in the following places:
1. If you’re not sure what state Senate district you live in, click here to find out. If your Senate district is an odd number, it’s on the ballot this year.
2. If you live in an odd-numbered Senate district, check out our voter guide see where the candidates in your district stand on allowing medical marijuana.
To compile our Nebraska voter guide, we reviewed the medical marijuana voting record of all incumbent senators who are running for re-election, and sent a questionnaire to all candidates. Unfortunately, only one candidate responded to our questionnaire. While they’re trying to earn votes, please consider reaching out to candidates in your district to let them know you want them to stand up for patients. The voter guide includes all candidates’ contact information.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Nebraska and Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenging Colorado’s marijuana regulation laws.
The decision is available here.
The attorneys general for Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court in December 2014, arguing that the state’s decision to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana was “placing stress on their criminal justice systems.” The Colorado and U.S. governments both filed briefs urging the court to dismiss the suit. Oklahoma Republicans also urged their attorney general to drop the suit.
Associated Press reports:
For now, the many states considering pot laws this year won’t have immediate guidance from the nation’s high court about whether they’re free to flout federal drug law by regulating the drug.
Instead, the 26 states and Washington, D.C., that allow marijuana for medical or recreational purposes don’t have any immediate roadblocks on their marijuana laws.
Marijuana legalization advocates immediately seized on the Supreme Court’s announcement as a signal that states are free to legalize marijuana if they wish.
“States have every right to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana, just as Nebraska and Oklahoma have the right to maintain their failed prohibition policies,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Colorado has done more to control marijuana than just about any other state in the nation. It will continue to set an example for other states that are considering similar laws in legislatures and at the ballot box.”
Last year, the Nebraska Senate approved Sen. Tommy Garrett’s Medical Cannabis Act (LB 643), which would allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, and other serious ailments to safely access medical cannabis. Despite that victory, the bill has a long way to go to become law — it needs two more favorable Senate votes, and will likely need a 33-vote supermajority to stop a filibuster.
If you are a Nebraska resident, please write your senator now to support advancing LB 643 to a final reading.
Supporters of marijuana regulation in Colorado are calling for the resignation of the six Colorado sheriffs who filed a federal lawsuit Thursday intended to force Colorado marijuana production and sales back into the underground market.
According to news reports, the sheriffs claim they are experiencing a “crisis of conscience” because they believe federal marijuana laws prohibit them from enforcing state marijuana laws. However, the U.S. Controlled Substances Act includes a provision that clearly states is not intended to preempt state laws, and it specifically authorizes states to pursue their own marijuana laws.
MPP's Mason Tvert explains on "CBS This Morning":
Back in December, the attorneys general for Nebraska and Oklahoma filed suit in federal court against the state of Colorado, claiming that the law making marijuana legal for adults there was causing problems for law enforcement in their states.
Now, a group of prominent Oklahoma Republicans is urging their attorney general to drop the suit, according to the Washington Post:
In a Wednesday letter to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), who along with the Nebraska attorney general filed suit in December against Colorado, the group of Republicans argue the suit poses a risk to state’s 10th amendment rights.
“[W]e share your concerns about the growing amounts of marijuana apparently coming into our state from Colorado,” the letter reads. “However, we believe this lawsuit against Colorado is the wrong way to deal with the issue, for a number of reasons.”
In the suit, Pruitt said Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana injured the ability of Oklahoma and other bordering states to enforce their marijuana laws and violates the supremacy clause of the Constitution giving federal law precedence over state ones.
But the group of Republicans think if the lawsuit was successful at the Supreme Court, it could “undermine all of those efforts to protect our own state’s right to govern itself.”
“We think the best move at this point would be to quietly drop the action against Colorado, and if necessary, defend the state’s right to set its own policies, as we would hope other states would defend our right to govern ourselves within constitutional confines,” the letter reads. “We also do not feel that attempting to undermine the sovereignty of a neighboring state using the federal courts, even if inadvertently, is a wise use of Oklahoma’s limited state resources.”
The letter was signed by Reps. Mike Ritze, Lewis Moore, John Bennett Mike Christian, Dan Fisher, and Sens. Ralph Shortey and Nathan Dahm.