The group, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, will prioritize a medical marijuana ballot initiative and is researching additional marijuana reform opportunitiesTwo Nebraska state senators, Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, will lead a newly formed campaign committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, for the purpose of running a 2020 ballot initiative to reform marijuana laws in Nebraska via constitutional amendment.
The committee will file its initial paperwork with the Nebraska Secretary of State on Thursday morning.
Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws will prioritize the right for Nebraskans to use marijuana for medical purposes.
“Today is the first step towards establishing a compassionate medical marijuana law for sick and suffering Nebraskans,” said Sen. Wishart, who has been the lead sponsor of medical marijuana bills in the last several legislative sessions. “Thirty-two states have already adopted effective medical marijuana laws, and Nebraska will soon be joining their ranks.”
“Elected officials have had their opportunity to take action and failed,” said Sen. Morfeld, who helped lead the successful 2018 Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative in Nebraska. “Patients cannot wait any longer, and it’s now time for Nebraska voters to decide this issue.”
In addition to Wishart and Morfeld serving as co-chairs, the politically diverse campaign committee includes:
- Elizabeth Seacrest, campaign treasurer and registered Independent;
- Dexter Schrodt, campaign committee member and registered Republican;
- John Cartier, campaign committee member and registered Democrat; and
- Matthew Schweich, deputy director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a leading national marijuana reform organization. Schweich has helped lead five successful marijuana-related ballot initiatives over the past two election cycles in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah.
“The Marijuana Policy Project is excited to work with Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws in pursuit of marijuana policies that truly serve the interests of the people,” Schweich said. “Medical marijuana is a bipartisan issue that enjoys strong support across the country, including in conservative states like Nebraska. We are confident this campaign will be successful at the ballot box in 2020.”
The immediate next steps for Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws include forming steering committees, initiative drafting, fundraising, and conducting public opinion research.
“We are assembling steering committees to represent important groups across Nebraska, including potential medical marijuana patients and their families, public safety and criminal justice reform advocates, business leaders, and others,” Wishart said. “All will play a key role in guiding this campaign.”
While medical marijuana is its top priority, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws will also gather statewide input over the next several months on additional areas of marijuana policy reform.
“We will be conducting research to determine the level of support for additional reforms,” Morfeld said. “We are going to put forward an initiative that enjoys strong support from Nebraskans.”
Nebraskans who are interested in the campaign are encouraged to follow the group’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaMJ.