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Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana needs 50K more signatures for November ballot

“The reality is we need 50,000 Nebraskans to sign the petition in the next two weeks”
Volunteers are pleading with fellow Nebraskans. Time is running out to sign a medical marijuana petition.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A desperate plea from parents who are behind the campaign to bring medical marijuana to Nebraska.

With the special election to replace former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry next Tuesday, a number of people are voting early.

Outside the Sarpy County Election Commissioner’s Office is where Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana are trying to capitalize on that and collect signatures to get their issue on the November ballot.

“The reality is we need 50,000 Nebraskans to sign the petition in the next two weeks. Now it’s on Nebraskans. The volunteers and patients have carried the water this far. It’s on Nebraskans to go out and find a place to sign it,” said Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln & co-chair of the initiative.

The families are pleading with Nebraskans to help them cross the finish line to find one of their 100 locations across the state and sign the petition.

“This is our life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Dom Gillen of Bellevue.

Dominic Gillen’s son, Will, shared his thoughts in the only way he can. Will has epilepsy. He’s 20 now.

His family says he’s never spoken and the helmet is there to protect him during his uncontrollable seizures. His family has been fighting for the medical marijuana option for the last decade.

“Hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans have told the legislature this is what you should do and they’re denying the will of the people. That is why we are pushing so hard to people to sign,” said Dom.

Parents of children with epilepsy and their uncontrollable seizures want everyone to know what’s at stake when traditional pills no longer help.

A desperate plea from parents who are behind the campaign to bring medical marijuana to Nebraska.

“My name is Dominic Gillen and I’m here with my son will who is wearing a helmet in his medically protected bed because he’s having seizures right now as we speak. We’ve been fighting and trying for 10 years.”

After several failed attempts at convincing Nebraska lawmakers to allow medical marijuana and the Nebraska Supreme Court overturning the last initiative, families believe the petition is now or never.

Twelve-year-old Jayen, who also suffers seizures from epilepsy, found out yesterday that doctors believe he needs another brain surgery.

“We have been pleading for help in this state for far too long. Just yesterday we found out a second brain surgery has been decided by doctors as the best option. They will split his brain apart. If he were in one of 47 other states, he would have the option to try an oil underneath his tongue to help with seizures. That’s not an option here,” said Nicole Hochstein of Papillion.

Gov. Ricketts has been one of the most vocal opponents for years, arguing that states that legalize marijuana either outright or medically, see a human toll, including devastating impacts on kids.

Families with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana want to stay in Nebraska but worry they’ll be forced to if the issue doesn’t get on the ballot.

“This is my boy, Colton. And think about the person in your life who means so much to you and do the right thing,” said Crista Eggers.

The families behind Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana are urging those who support the issue to go online and find out where to find a petition to sign, to give their children hope.

The deadline to turn in signatures is July 7th and volunteers have already collected 60,000 signatures.

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