The Nebraska Supreme Court removed the petition from the ballot, however, ruling 5-2 that the language violated the state’s single-subject rule.
Wishart and Morfeld quickly filed new language with Secretary of State Bob Evnen that would amend the state’s constitution with broader language than what is currently before state lawmakers.
Nebraska senator wants rules on initiative petitions clarified after court ruling torpedoed medical marijuana
“Persons in the State of Nebraska shall have the right to cannabis in all its forms for medical purposes,” the new petition language reads.
Lathrop, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said the petition drive waiting to be circulated if the Legislature doesn’t act will be “the most compelling argument” in favor of LB474 on the floor.
“The opportunity for us to regulate medical marijuana is strongest if we do it legislatively, rather than try to react to a constitutional amendment that comes to us by way of a petition initiative,” he said.
Voting in favor of sending the bill to the full Legislature were Lathrop, Morfeld and Sens. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, Wendy DeBoer of Bennington and Terrell McKinney of Omaha.
Sens. Suzanne Geist of Lincoln and Julie Slama of Peru voted against advancing the bill. Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth did not vote.
Wishart celebrated the vote to advance her priority bill in a tweet Tuesday afternoon: “One victory down, now on to the full Legislature for debate.”