OMAHA, NE — Before the smoke could clear from their refusal to allow a pro-marijuana license plate to a marijuana reform activist, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles has agreed to let Frank Shoemaker have his requested “NE420″ vanity plate.
The decision effectively ends a federal lawsuit filed last week by Frank Shoemaker, an attorney and marijuana reform activist, and ACLU Nebraska. The lawsuit alleged the DMV and its director, Beverly Neth, violated Shoemaker’s freedom of speech by refusing his request for the plates.
“Fastest settlement ever,” said Amy Miller, an attorney with ACLU Nebraska, on Monday.
Shoemaker plans to affix the plates to his 1970 Volkswagen van as part of his campaign to get a marijuana legalization question on the ballot in Nebraska’s 2012 elections.
Shoemaker will join several other vehicles on the road in Nebraska with “420” on the plate — including a State Police cruiser. Many other motorists have “420” in their licence plates, the result of random distribution.
“It’s just a numbering sequence,” said Beverly Neth, director of the Department of Motor Vehicles — the same Beverly Neth that denied Shoemaker’s request for the 420 plate in the first place.