Since suspending our campaign to place the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act on the November 2020 ballot in late March due to the COVID-19 shutdown, we had been exploring options to continue gathering signatures. However, the safety of our volunteers, many of whom are immuno-compromised, was paramount and we did cease gathering signatures. Also, since we knew we would not have the the required number, thanks to losing our last two Spring months of gathering, we did not turn our signatures in to the various county clerks.
But we are thrilled to find out that our suspended campaign received new life in the form of a federal judgment against the State of Idaho. Fellow (and better-funded) ballot petitioners from Reclaim Idaho filed suit against the state for infringing on their constitutional petitioning rights. They won the suit, with the federal judge giving the state until 5pm Friday to issue immediate relief to Reclaim Idaho in one of two ways:
- Place Reclaim Idaho’s initiative on the ballot by accepting their current signatures as sufficient (regardless if they’ve collected the statutory 55,057 required); or
- Give Reclaim Idaho 48 days (the time lost since the state’s lockdown) to collect signatures electronically.
The State of Idaho will appeal the ruling. But given the impending nature of the election and the extra 48 days to collect signatures, as well as the time the clerks will need to certify signatures, bodes well for Reclaim Idaho.
And we believe that bodes well for the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act, which has been petitioning longer and collected more signatures than Reclaim Idaho. Our attorneys are currently reviewing the decision and strategizing how it should force the state to respond equally to all petitioning groups.
If the State simply places our initiatives on the ballot, then it’s game over, as our polls show that medical marijuana is supported by Idaho voters by an over 2-to-1 margin.
If the State decides to grant us electronic signature gathering time, then it’s game on. (Specifically, we’re thinking of us as Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl*.) We have long believed that if online signatures were accepted, we’d have been on the ballot ten years ago.
An online signature campaign will benefit from the IdahoVotes.gov website. Anybody wishing to sign the medical marijuana petition online could first visit that site to verify their voter registration and update it if necessary. Then they could visit the site for signing the petition, knowing for certain their registered signature will be valid and their entry legible.
Keep checking back on this site for the latest breaking news. If you get the ability to sign our petition online, this is where you’ll find all the information you need.
*The Reclaim Idaho decision was our Hook-and-Lateral to tie Oklahoma as the clock ran out. Stay tuned… I think we have a Statue of Liberty around here somewhere…