Court rules against Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana in petition lawsuit
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A court has ruled against Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana in its lawsuit over the multicounty signature requirement, documents show.
On Wednesday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a court granted an emergency stay on the preliminary injunction of the law, so it will remain in effect for now.
Under the requirement, petitions must collect signatures from 5% percent of voters in at least 38 counties to qualify for the ballot.
In June, a federal judge ruled that the continued enforcement of this rule would “irreparably” harm Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana and issued an injunction.
Wednesday’s ruling will allow the requirement to remain in place as litigation continues.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska said this requirement violates the one person, one vote principle by giving unequal power to signatures based on geography.
“Enforcing the county requirement ensures that both urban and rural Nebraska have a voice in the petition process. The court made the right decision to enforce the law on the books,” said Taylor Gage, NEGOP executive director.
In the original lawsuit, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana and campaign manager Crista Eggers alleged that the multicounty signature requirement violates the United States Constitution.
“Every Nebraskan’s signature should have equal weight, no matter the size of our community. Today’s decision is disappointing,” Eggers said. “From our perspective, this stay adds unnecessary confusion at a critical juncture.”
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana was pushing for additional signatures on Wednesday, hoping to reach the required 87,000 signatures by noon Thursday.
“We will keep moving forward so that we can legalize medical cannabis and help suffering Nebraskans,” Eggers said in a press release. “If you have not yet signed the petition, I cannot stress this enough: now is the time.”