Supporters of marijuana legalization have done a lot of things to push their agenda forward and to convince lawmakers to support their cause. Signing petitions, running social media campaigns, and demonstrating on streets are probably the most common of them.
However, one group is now attempting to do something very unconventional and ambitious.
Rather than asking political parties to support their demand, they’re now attempting to form a new political party with the primary agenda of marijuana legalization.
According to KETV, a group in Omaha, Nebraska has taken this initiative.
“Some medications just don’t work,” said medical marijuana supporter Frank Riojas.
Riojas said that his family members have left the state for treatment.
“There’s a lot of cancer in my family,” Frank added.
Marijuana is believed to have multiple medical properties and there are several scientific reports supporting the claims. Marijuana is popular as an effective cancer treatment drug.
Another supporter of marijuana legalization expressed his belief that marijuana could have cured his late grandmother’s cancer.
“My grandmother actually died from cancer and I feel like medical marijuana would’ve helped her.”
Members told KETV NewsWatch 7 that their initiative is not about recreation. They took this bold step to be able to get benefits from medical marijuana and hemp production.
According to the group Legal Marijuana Now Nebraska, it needs 6,500 signatures, but the hope is that they’ll get at least 8,000 by the Aug. 1 deadline. As of march 3 they were 1500 votes away from gaining their ballot access.They have filed 3 candidates now and look forward to getting more on the ballot in August.
The party’s 2016 candidates are Mark Elworth Jr. for State Legislature district 13, Krystal Gabel for mud and ops boards, and Zach Boiko for Mayor of La Vista.
“That’s why we are forming the party. So that people recognize that we are looking to change something here in our state,” Zach Boiko of Legal Marijuana Now Nebraska said.
He also emphasized that it’s important for people to have access to effective medicines.
“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,” he added.
They are hopeful that a new political party could give a greater momentum to their agenda in both Iowa and Nebraska. Their primary goal is legalizing medical marijuana, followed by hemp production.
“It’s really another option to the two-party system,” Krystal Gabel, another member, said.
“We are collaborating with other states: Colorado, Minnesota and Iowa. We aren’t just here in Nebraska,” She added.
She also pointed out that having supporters of marijuana legalization in public office means an increase in industries and employment in Nebraska.
“Let’s make our products here. Let’s bring jobs to north Omaha and south Omaha.”
The majority of state lawmakers keep voting against full access to medical marijuana, so, trying to elect new lawmakers is the next logical move.
Senator Tommy Garrett is putting forward his medical marijuana bill this session. Although the bill doesn’t allow smoking the drug, both Gov. Pete Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson oppose the bill.
Currently, there are 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized whole-plant medical marijuana. Also, a number of other states have legalized the medical use of nonpsychoactive cannabis oil.
[Photo by Nancy Honey/Via Getty Images]