Medical Marijuana Ballot Petition Submitted With Over 182,000 Signatures

July 2, 2020, 4:30 p.m. ·

A woman signs the medical marijuana petition in Lincoln on June 28. (Becca Costello, NET News)

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana submitted a petition to put medical marijuana on the ballot this November. Organizers say they collected over 182,000 signatures.

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative needed 121,000 signatures, or over 10% of Nebraska voters. Those signatures also needed to be at least 5% of voters in 38 Nebraska counties.

The collected signatures will be evaluated and any invalid ones will be thrown out.

State Senator Anna Wishart helped lead the initiative. She said the campaign was careful about the quality of their signature collection.

"We definitely think we have enough buffer," Wishart said. "We’ve been very careful to be conservative about what we think our validity rate is and we’ve done a lot of hand validation [ourselves] and also invested in a validation system."

Wishart said signatures may be invalid if the person is not registered to vote or signed more than once.

She said the pandemic meant the campaign relied on grassroots efforts across the state to gather signatures.

"We were able to rely really on people who locally live in their counties to be the ones that collect and qualify in those counties," Wishart said. "And so that made it safer, kind of, on the public health side, but also it made the issue sort of easier for people who may on the fence with it when they know somebody from the town is leading the drive in their communities."

Signatures will be evaluated soon and a decision about whether medical marijuana will appear on the ballot is expected sometime in August.