But, she added, splitting the initiative into two parts was the best way to move forward on the issue.
“It’s too much of a risk to not err on the extremely safe side, even if it’s more expensive,” she said. “There’s no room for error.”
As Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana finalizes the language it will file — Wishart said the goal was to accomplish that before Labor Day — it has also been building a campaign team to start collecting signatures.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which has run radio ads warning about marijuana legalization, doesn’t have an official position on the petition drive, said John Kuehn, a former state senator who co-chairs the group.
Kuehn said SAM Nebraska will meet with community groups and individuals across the state in what he described as an educational campaign.
While Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana had early concerns that volunteers and voters would be deflated and unwilling to replicate the effort after the state supreme court’s ruling last year, Wishart said they’ve since discovered that isn’t the case.
The 2020 initiative submitted 196,000 names to the Secretary of State’s office, with 123,000 of those collected in June 2020 alone.
Wishart thinks that effort can be replicated once the petitions are finalized and an army of 125 volunteers begin coordinating signature gathering efforts across the state.