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Group Submits Signatures to Get Medical Cannabis Measure on Nebraska Ballot

One group that aims to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska has submitted its ballot petitions on Thursday. This ends a long campaign plagued by financial difficulties and tragedy.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana reported that the group had sent thousands of signatures in an effort to get the Cornhusker state’s medical marijuana proposal onto the November Cornhusker State election ballot.

Now, the group awaits word on whether the measure is eligible for the ballot.

“It’s official, we turned in 184,000+ signatures to put medical cannabis on the ballot,” saidAnna Wishart (state senator), a Democratic lawmaker, was a cosponsor of Nebraskans to Medical Marijuana. “We will know in the coming months if it was enough to qualify. Every signer represents someone who took the initiative to reach out to the public and signed. Thank you Nebraska.”

Through its entire petition drive, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana faced a number of challenges. In March, the group’s outlook appeared dire after one of its top donors died in a plane crash, and another donor had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Wishart, along with others associated with the group, were left pleading for donations after these tragedies.

“I’d say devastating is an understatement,” said Crista Eggers, who also led the group’s petition campaign. “We’re pleading with you to help.”

“If what we needed was grit, and drive, and determination, we have that,” Eggers said. “Our campaign would be done and over if that’s what we needed. But unfortunately, the one thing our campaign doesn’t have – and has to have – is money.”

Eggers’ motivations are personal: her son, Colton, has epilepsy and is unable to receive medical cannabis treatment in Nebraska.

“We’ve received so much encouragement from individuals all across the state, who support the many patients like our son Colton, who desperately need access to this medicine. No matter what your political background is, we should all agree that criminalizing a medicine that has the potential to alleviate suffering, is both cruel and inhumane,” Eggers said in announcing the group’s petition campaign last fall. “The current policy doesn’t reflect our family values here in Nebraska, and we’re going to change that. We need everyone who believes in compassion for suffering individuals like my son to be part of this movement and help us win in 2022.”

On Thursday, Eggers marveled at the group’s resilience.

“These were people that cared about this issue and they continued stepping up you know one day after another and when things got tough, right, they kept going,” Eggers said, as quoted by local television station KETV.

“There was no choice to give up, right. You are all the reason. Because of all the people, the stories, who were relying on us to get this done,” Eggers added.

Nebraskans for medical marijuana submitted their signatures in the eleventh hour. This was fitting considering the turmoil that had characterized its petition drive. KETV reported that the group “used every second they could before they had to turn in their signed petitions in Lincoln,” with people “still signing the petition outside the Secretary of State’s Office less than an hour before the deadline.”

In a post to its Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, the group urged both individuals who wished to sign the petition and notaries to come to the secretary of state’s office.

Nebraskans for medical marijuana attempted to place a prior proposal on 2020’s state ballot. However, the Nebraska Supreme Court disqualified it.

“As for what happens tomorrow, we’ll face that tomorrow,” Eggers said on Thursday, as quoted by KETV.