Pubdate: Sat, 25 Jun 2011
Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE)
Copyright: 2011 Omaha World-Herald Company
Author: Martha Stodedard, World-Herald Bureau


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
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.