After months of signature gathering a group called New Approach Missouri recently submitted their petition signatures in hopes of qualifying for the November ballot. Unfortunately, no matter how close they were, the Secretary of State says they just didn’t have enough signatures. The worst part of it all? They were only short 2,200 signatures from the Second Congressional District – aside from that they would have been good to go and start campaigning for “yes” votes.
The group had turned in a total of 40,745 signatures in that particular district – and only 32,337 could be validated. While that may have seemed like a good margin for error, they seem to have figured wrong – other petitions which did qualify all gathered at least a total of 46,000 signatures in that district. Overall, the campaign lost a total of 10,700 signatures, of which apparently nearly 8,000 came from the Second Congressional District.
New Approach Missouri says that they are planning on taking this decision to court – something they say they would not do if they weren’t fairly certain they would win. The group will have to prove that at least a fifth of the signatures that were denied are actually valid – if they can do that, then they might still have a fighting chance to see their initiative on the ballot this November.
“You don’t go to the trouble of suing unless you think you can make it,” he says (Cardetti, of New Approach Missouri). “And the courts have long given leeway to the idea that voters should decide these matters.”
If the initiative does indeed find a place on the ballot this fall, then Missouri voters would have the opportunity to legalize medical marijuana use for a number of different conditions with a physician’s recommendation. It would also create a fully regulated, licensed and taxed medical marijuana industry that would allow patients access to the medicine they need, while also ensuring that it is always as close to a standard quality as possible.
It is unfortunate to see an initiative which has worked so hard have to accept that they did not qualify Especially after they petitioned for months and even collected up to $1.3 million in donation contributions, clearly gathering support throughout the state. For now, unless the courts say otherwise, Missouri will have to wait a bit longer for medical marijuana.