Medical pot bill dies, setting up Nebraska ballot drive

Nebraska News

FILE – The Norris Legislative Chamber at the State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb., is seen in this June 25, 2020 file photo, after transparent dividers were installed to protect lawmakers from spreading or contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus. Nebraska lawmakers will begin a new session Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, that’s likely to be scaled back because of the pandemic, but they’ll still have a lot of big issues to debate, including a proposed $230 million prison and the mandatory redrawing of the state’s political districts. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A bill to legalize and tightly regulate medical marijuana has died in the Nebraska Legislature, setting the stage for a much less restrictive ballot measure with a good chance of passing.

Supporters of the bill fell two votes shy of the 33 they needed to break a filibuster and force lawmakers to vote on it.

The 31-18 vote came as no surprise, but the looming ballot measure could leave Nebraska with an uncharacteristically liberal medical pot law.

Supporters say the bill would have given Nebraska one of the nation’s most conservative medical marijuana policies, and they promised to take the issue to voters.

Medical marijuana ballot drives have generally been successful in other states.

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