Medical Marijuana Initiative Blocked in Nebraska

State Sen. Anna Wishart celebrates Nebraska’s approval of signatures submitted for a medical-marijuana ballot initiative at the statehouse in Lincoln. (image via AP)

Despite a governor who claims "there is no such thing as medical marijuana," Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana moved ahead with a ballot initiative that would legalize medical cannabis use in the Cornhusker State. The organization's signature drive was approved by the Secretary of State on July 2, but had not been e confirmed for the November ballot.

That's because, on August 28Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner challenged the validity of the initiative, saying it asks too many questions. 

Update: On September 10, the Nebraska Supreme Court agreed with Wagner and voted to block the amendment. The majority opinion reads, in part;

"If voters are to intelligently adopt a State policy with regard to medicinal cannabis use, they must first be allowed to decide that issue alone, unencumbered by other subjects. As proposed, the NMCCA contains more than one subject - by our count, it contains at least eight subjects. We reverse the Secretary of State’s decision and issue a writ of mandamus directing him to withhold the initiative from the November 2020 general election ballot."

Nebraska Medical Cannabis Constitutional Amendment reads:

"The object of this petition is to amend the Nebraska Constitution to provide the right to use, possess, access, and safely produce cannabis, and cannabis products and materials, for serious medical conditions as recommended by a physician or nurse practitioner."

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana posted the news at Facebook:

Nebraska is one of only four states in the country without any sort of medical-marijuana law. The other three are Idaho, Kansas and South Dakota. In November, South Dakotans will get to vote on recreational and medical marijuana measures. Mississippi also has a medical initiative on the ballot (currently, only CBD is legal in the Magnolia State).


Nebraska Governor Opposes Medical Marijuana

Gov. Pete Ricketts recently stated about the legalization effort: "This is not a benign thing. This is a dangerous thing."

He previously opposed state legislation that would've legalized medical access, saying in 2019:

"The truth about ‘medical’ marijuana is that doctors cannot prescribe it and pharmacists cannot distribute it. That means both production and distribution are unregulated and left to multinational companies who have financial incentive to distribute high-potency, addictive marijuana.

"Nebraska has seen how marijuana legalization has wreaked havoc in other states. Just last November, Missouri legalized ‘medical’ marijuana. By February, Missouri was flooded with marijuana candy that was packaged to market to kids. For example ‘Stoney Patch Kids’ are packaged like Sour Patch Kids. Add to that the increase in traffic accidents and fatalities around the country due to stoned driving, and it is clear it’s a big risk to Nebraska’s families."

Elected in 2014, Ricketts is among the nation's most conservative Republican governors. His family co-owns the Chicago Cubs. 

NORML gives Ricketts and F grade in its governor ratings.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.