Nebraska Poll Shows Strong Support for Medical Cannabis Legalization

Medical Cannabis Legalization

A recent poll conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) revealed that 70% of Nebraskans are in favor of legalizing medical cannabis in their state. The poll also found that 56% of respondents support a constitutional amendment that would allow citizens to bypass the legislature and directly vote on ballot initiatives.

Medical Cannabis Advocates Launch New Campaign

The poll results come as a boost for the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) campaign, which officially launched on September 13, 2023. The campaign is led by state senator Anna Wishart, who has been a vocal advocate for medical cannabis legalization for years. The campaign aims to collect enough signatures to place two measures on the November 2024 ballot: The Patient Protection Act and The Medical Cannabis Regulation Act.

The Patient Protection Act would provide legal protection for patients and caregivers who use, possess, or cultivate medical cannabis for qualifying medical conditions. The Medical Cannabis Regulation Act would establish a regulated system for the production and distribution of medical cannabis, as well as a tax on sales. The campaign needs to gather at least 87,000 signatures per measure by July 3, 2024, to qualify for the ballot.

Previous Attempts Thwarted by Legal Challenges

This is not the first time that NMM has tried to put medical cannabis legalization to a vote of the people. In 2020, the campaign successfully collected over 182,000 signatures for a single medical cannabis initiative, but the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that it violated the state’s single-subject rule and blocked it from appearing on the ballot. In 2022, the campaign attempted to collect signatures again, but faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of support from the legislature.

 Medical Cannabis Legalization

NMM campaign manager Crista Eggers, who is also the mother of a nine-year-old son with epilepsy, said that she is hopeful that this time will be different. “We’ve received so much encouragement from individuals all across the state, who support the many patients like our son Colton, who desperately need access to this medicine,” Eggers said. “No matter what your political background is, we should all agree that criminalizing a medicine that has the potential to alleviate suffering, is both cruel and inhumane.”

Nebraska Lags Behind Other States on Cannabis Reform

Nebraska is one of the few states in the US that has not legalized any form of cannabis, even for medical purposes. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 36 states and four territories have enacted comprehensive medical cannabis programs, and 18 states and two territories have legalized adult-use cannabis. In addition, several neighboring states of Nebraska, such as Colorado, South Dakota, and Missouri, have also legalized medical and/or recreational cannabis.

The UNL poll suggests that Nebraskans are ready to join the national trend of cannabis reform, and that they are frustrated with the inaction of their elected officials. The poll also found that 54% of respondents support a constitutional amendment that would lower the threshold for placing initiatives on the ballot, and 51% support an amendment that would prohibit the legislature from changing or repealing voter-approved laws.

The poll was conducted by the UNL Bureau of Sociological Research from August 16 to September 5, 2023, and surveyed 1,200 Nebraska residents aged 19 and older. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

By Amelia Brooks

Amelia Brooks is a seasoned senior content writer at CBD Strains Only, specializing in the cannabis niche. With a wealth of experience and a keen interest in the therapeutic properties of cannabis, Amelia brings a unique perspective to her writing. Her insightful articles aim to educate and inform readers about the latest trends and developments in the cannabis industry.

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