Nebraska lawmakers to debate medical marijuana legalization

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska is once again headed to the full Legislature for debate, despite long odds and the more likely prospect that the issue will go before voters next year.

Members of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee advanced the measure on Tuesday. Lawmakers are expected to debate the bill, but opponents are likely to block it with a filibuster. Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has also made it clear that he opposes it.

That likely won’t stop supporters, who are also preparing a citizen-led petition drive to put the issue on the 2022 general election ballot. Lawmakers who are pushing for legalization have said they’d rather see the Legislature act on the measure to impose some controls, but they’ll take it to voters if lawmakers don’t act and they’re confident it will pass in the election.

The issue would have appeared on last year’s ballot, but the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the ballot measure violated a constitutional rule that prohibits activists from raising more than one issue in a single yes-or-no question. Supporters said they’ve rewritten the question this time to avoid that problem and withstand a legal challenge.

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