LINCOLN — Backers of a petition drive to legalize marijuana in Nebraska announced Friday that they are ready to hit the streets to start gathering signatures.
The Nebraska Proposition 19 Cannabis Initiative seeks to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2012 general election ballot.
The amendment would regulate and tax all commercial uses of marijuana and remove all laws governing private, noncommercial use of the plant.
The drive is being undertaken by the Nebraska Cannabis Coalition. The group has about a year to collect signatures.
It takes signatures from 10 percent of registered voters to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. In 2008, that number was more than 112,000 signatures. The target for 2012 will be determined next year.
A public meeting about the effort is planned for July 2 at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 302 S. 38th St., in Omaha.
A similar voter initiative made it onto California’s ballot last year but was rejected by voters. The measure faced stiff opposition from law enforcement, state officials and groups concerned about drug use.
Medicinal marijuana is legal in 16 states, including Colorado, and the District of Columbia.
The Iowa Board of Pharmacy recommended last year that marijuana be legalized for medical use, but the issue stalled in the State Legislature.
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