Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

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Hannah Michelle Bussa
NEWS EDITOR

This main group of patients and families have been behind the ballot initiative for many years. Photo courtesy of Crista Eggers.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, a ballot committee, is working to qualify two medical cannabis initiatives for the 2022 ballot.

Crista Eggers, the Statewide Campaign Coordinator for Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, said the ballot will need to collect 87,000 verified voter signatures of supporters for each petition by July 7, 2022.

A similar ballot initiative was done for the 2020 ballot, but a lawsuit was brought against the petition citing a single subject law. Eggers said the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the petition violated the single-subject rule, so it was not allowed on the 2020 ballot.

“There are two statutory medical cannabis initiatives that work together to protect qualified patients from criminal penalties and regulate private businesses that provide medical cannabis,” Eggers said. “Patients are required to have a written recommendation from a licensed health care provider to qualify for the program.”

Eggers said this petition is important to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska.

“Patients in Nebraska deserve access to this medicine that has been proven to be life-saving in 48 other states in our country,” she said. “The sick and suffering deserve access that isn’t available due to their zip codes.”

Patients in Nebraska desperately need medical marijuana as a treatment option. Eggers said there are many heartbreaking stories.

Crista Eggers’ three children — Colton Eggers (left), Jayen Hochstein (11/Middle) and Will Gillen (19/right). All three of them suffer from seizures. Photo courtesy of Crista Eggers.

“I actually have a son, Colton, who is seven years old and suffers from intractable and uncontrolled epilepsy,” she said. “We have not been able to gain control of his seizures despite trying all medications and treatment options that are available. Children like Colton have access to cannabis oil as a treatment in 48 other states, however, here in Nebraska we still do not, and would be forced to be criminals, and possibly have our children taken from our home if we pursued it as a treatment option at this point.”

Eggers said patients, including her son, deserve better than this.

“Denying a patient access to a plant that has been around and used for medical purposes for thousands of years is absolutely heartbreaking,” she said.

The goal at Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana has always been solely for medical purposes.

Eggers said they need help to get this on the ballot. Those interested in volunteering can sign up at nebraskamarijuana.org/volunteer. Their petition drive started on Oct. 2, gathering signatures in Lincoln and outside of the stadium before the game.

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