Court Ruling on Ballot Measures Simplifies Legalizing Weed in Nebraska

Court Ruling on Ballot Measures Simplifies Legalizing Weed in Nebraska
High Times

A federal judge has struck down provisions of Nebraska’s voter initiative process in a ruling that will simplify efforts to put a medical cannabis legalization measure on the ballot for the November election. In his ruling, federal district court Judge John M. Gerrard wrote that a requirement that campaigns for ballot initiatives collect signatures from 5% of the voters in 38 counties violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Gerard issued an order on Monday barring Nebraska from enforcing the rule as activists work to collect signatures on two complementary medical cannabis legalization initiatives for the 2022 general election. Under Nebraska law, citizens wishing to place a measure on the ballot must collect signatures from at least 7% of registered voters, including a minimum of 5% of voters in at least 38 of the state’s 93 counties. In a lawsuit, activists with the group Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) and the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that the 38-county rule is unconstitutional because it violates rights to free speech and equal protection guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Nebraska Initiative Process Violates ‘One Man, One Vote’ The plaintiffs argued that the rule violates the principle of “one man, one vote” by making the signatures of voters in sparsely populated rural counties more valuable than the signatures of voters in Nebraska’s cities. Under the rule, the plaintiffs said that one voter in rural Arthur County is the equivalent of 1,216 voters in Douglas County, which includes Omaha, Nebraska’s most populated city. NMM also stated that the requirement violates the First Amendment rights by dictating how the group prioritizes its signature-gathering efforts. “A county number or how likely we are to qualify has dictated where I send my resources, where I send volunteers, you know, signature collectors,” Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana…

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Source : Court Ruling on Ballot Measures Simplifies Legalizing Weed in Nebraska

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