- Legal States
Fiona Simmons July 3, 2020 3 min read
Gambling and Medical Marijuana May Come to November Ballot in Nebraska
November ballot may feature a vote on gambling and medical marijuana in Nebraska. Supporters of the changes say the petitioners will raise enough signatures to enter the ballot.
Petitions Supporting Legalization of Gambling and Medical Marijuana Keep Raising Signatures
On November’s ballot, Nebraskans may get decide on legalizing medical marijuana as well as casino gambling. Yesterday, supporters of the two groups announced that enough signatures will be gathered to enter the two highly popular topics on the ballot in November. Three gambling initiatives may result in allowing horse racing tracks to feature casino gambling. The initiatives will need to change the state’s constitution in order to allow gambling, introduce changes towards state laws that allow casino regulation and licensing as well as a final change which is towards the tax revenue. With that being said, Keep the Money in Nebraska, which is the group supporting the gambling changes said that they will submit more than 470,000 signatures.
Keep the Money in Nebraska member and CEO of Ho-Chuck Inc, Lance Morgan commented on the subject by saying: “I wasn’t anticipating a global pandemic, but I assure you it shut down some signature collections for a period of time. So it made for a pretty hectic May and June in terms of getting these signatures.” With that being said, before proceeding any further, the petitions must be checked and approved by Nebraska’s secretary of state office. Only then the Nebraskans will know if the petitions will be included in November’s ballot. It is expected that this decision will be announced in August.
The Cornhusker State’s Governor Disapproves the Proposed Changes
Commenting on the subject, Governor Pete Ricketts said that gambling expansion brings: “Increased child abuse, increased spousal abuse, increased embezzlement…” and other social issues. He also pointed out that for years Nebraska has rejected such gambling expansion. Governor Ricketts did not miss to say that medical marijuana, should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just like any other drug.
Although Governor Ricketts and CEO Morgan were not participating in a debate, it’s important to mention a point, raised by Morgan. The supporter for gambling expansion in Nebraska pointed out that some $350 million in gambling are spent in other states by Nebraskans. He gave an example that when people drive across the river (referring to The Missouri River which separates Nebraska and Iowa) people see many cars with license plates of Nebraska. Morgan backed this up with research, which was sponsored by Keep the Money in Nebraska. According to the research, if the $350 million spent towards gambling stays in Nebraska, this will raise some $65 million in taxes for the state. Further to the research, Morgan pointed out that some 4,600 new workplaces will be created.