Capital Clicks

Nebraska senator pledges to introduce bill to legalize medical marijuana

By: - August 23, 2022 2:42 pm

Volunteers with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana sort through boxes of petitions submitted just before a deadline last month to submit signatures to qualify for the November ballot, an effort that fell short. (Photo by Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner)

Nebraska state Sen. Jen Day pledged Tuesday to introduce a bill in the 2023 legislative session to legalize medical marijuana.

The pledge by Day comes one day after a petition drive to allow Nebraska voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana as medicine fell short of qualifying for the November ballot.

The senator said the failure will leave many families without an effective way to treat chronic pain and epileptic seizures.

Nebraska state Sen. Jen Day represents District 49. (Photo by Craig Chandler/University Communication)

“We will exhaust every measure possible to get Nebraskans the medical freedom they deserve and want,” said Day, who represents a district in Gretna and suburban Sarpy County.

The Secretary of State Office’s announced Monday that the two medical marijuana ballot initiatives had failed to collect the required 86,776 signatures and failed to meet a standard of at least 5% of registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties.

Past efforts in the Nebraska Legislature to legalize medical marijuana have failed, which has convinced advocates to seek another route via the initiative petition process. Advocates have said they will launch another petition drive after validating the failure of this year’s effort.

The 2023 legislative session begins Jan. 4.
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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Nebraska Examiner Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and was named editor of the Papillion Times in 1982. He later worked as a sports enterprise reporter at the Lincoln Journal-Star. He joined the Omaha World-Herald in 1990, working as a legislative reporter, then roving state reporter and finally Lincoln bureau chief. Paul has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation and secretary of the Nebraska Hop Growers.