Nebraska cannabis advocates are celebrating, as a medical cannabis initiative finally received approval to appear on the November ballot. However, the initiative was immediately challenged by a threat that aims to prevent the measure from being on the ballot.
Mark Fahleson, an attorney from Lincoln, Nebraska formally challenged the measure, claiming in a letter to Nebraska Secretary of State that the amendment would create a grey area and would be confusing for those who are seeking medical relief from cannabis. He also claims that it violates the state’s single-subject rule.
Specifically, Fahleson disapproves of the fact that the ballot measure would legalize medical cannabis for home cultivation. He also questions why there isn’t a clear definition of “serious medical conditions” being laid out.
However, those who backed the ballot measure remain confident in the wording of the initiative. They believe they have done their due diligence working on the initiative. Senator Adam Morfeld, one of the leaders responsible for helping the initiative get on the ballot, dismissed Fahleson’s arguments. “We crafted this based off prior Supreme Court precedent, including the most recent Medicaid expansion ruling by the Supreme Court, and we are confident it is constitutional and over 190,000 Nebraskans signed petitions to put this on the ballot, and it should be on the ballot,” Morfeld stated.
There appear to be many opponents to cannabis legalization initiatives appearing on ballots during the upcoming election. In Arizona, a similar instance has occurred regarding an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis. This initiative was also challenged due to its ballot description. Fortunately for Arizona, a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the challenge be dismissed and will appear on the ballot as originally planned.
The Nebraska Secretary of State’s office is expected to issue a decision soon about whether or not the initiative can proceed to be included on the ballot.