The potential legalization of medical marijuana won’t be decided by voters in the general election in November, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled.
In a 5-2 decision, the state’s high court ruled that the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana contained as many as eight separate provisions, violating the requirement that proposed amendments must only have only one subject.
In violation of the “single subject” provision, the Supreme Court said that the proposed amendment would also legalize the right of anyone to grow and sell cannabis, in addition to legalizing medical marijuana and allowing patients to possess and grow it.
Since another provision of the proposed amendment allows a user to grow marijuana or obtain it through a caregiver, expanding that right to anyone to grow and sell it is a step too far, the court said.
Other provisions of the amendment would regulate the role of cannabis in at least six areas of public life, the court said, so voters who favor legalizing medical marijuana must vote for the entire package even though they might vote differently if the propositions were separate.
This is called logrolling, the court said.
“Logrolling is the practice of combining dissimilar propositions into one voter initiative so voters must vote for or against the whole package even though they only support certain propositions,” the court said.
Proponents of medical marijuana said they won’t stop. but will look to create a new ballot committee and petition to legalize medical cannabis in 2022.
State Sen. Anna Wishart, the leader of the medical marijuana campaign, said, “If anyone thinks we are going to pack our bags and go home, they’re wrong and don’t understand why we fight so hard to legalize medical cannabis.”
“With their ruling, the Court has made less clear an already confusing single subject legal standard,” state Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said.