Now, more than ever, there is national push to legalize weed. As it stands, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized bud for medicinal or recreational use. More and more, citizens are learning that weed can be more than just a means of getting blowed. It possesses many therapeutic properties that are useful in the treatment of a plethora of terminal, chronic and everyday ailments.
However, the push to put pot legalization on election ballots is mostly done through petitions, which can be quite a challenge for advocates. One group, based in Omaha, NE, is taking a different approach to getting the cannabis issue in front of voters: forming a political party.
The group goes by that name Legal Marijuana Now Nebraska. Their goal is to spread the word about herb faster in Nebraska and Iowa, by running their own political candidates, so that medical cannabis and hemp production can be legalized. They are also working with folks in Colorado and Minnesota. They are bringing new meaning to the term “GRASSroots,” by gathering 8,000 signatures (1,500 more than the 6,500 signatures needed) to become a political party by the deadline on August 1. Though that is a lot of signatures, it is still only a fraction of those needed to push through a ballot initiative.
Many in the group are driven to participate, because they have family members who either had to leave the state for treatment or died from a disease that could have been treated more effectively with weed. “My grandmother actually died from cancer and I feel like medical marijuana would’ve helped her,” said supporter Brain Lett.
“That’s why we are forming the party, so that people recognize that we are looking to change something here in our state,” explained organizer Zach Boiko. “The right thing is getting the medicine to the people. This petition is specifically designed for that purpose. If you don’t like recreational, that’s fine.”