Cannabis supporters win a court battle over legalization but still have a fight ahead
After winning an initial court battle, supporters of a medical cannabis referendum in Nebraska are paving the way for the proposal to be placed on the ballot this fall. Considering the dozens of benefits medical marijuana has, many voters may want the opportunity to have the final say.
Initially, proponents of the proposals were required to obtain signatures from rural counties and larger cities to put the measure on the November ballot. However, a US District Court judge decided to temporarily suspend that process. It should be noted that the measure is considered a preliminary injunction, so the final decision in the case will be announced at a later date.
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana has been making efforts to collect nearly 87,000 signatures from registered voters by the July 7 deadline. However, last month the group wanted to take legal action and sued the state in federal court, seeking to overturn a provision of the state constitution that requires signatures to come from at least 5% of registered voters in 38 of 93 counties.
Many of the advocates and experts on the issue assert that this signature distribution requirement ran afoul of the 14th Amendment as it gives “disproportionate influence to voters in sparsely populated counties.” Advocates are looking to successfully place the proposal on the ballot, especially after seeing how polls conducted over the past few years have indicated that more than 80% of the residents in the Cornhusker State are in favor of medical cannabis.