Utah’s Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox has released the official results of the 2018 statewide initiative signature gathering process – and medical cannabis made the final cut.
Results show 153,894 signatures for a medical cannabis initiative to be deemed valid. 1,425 valid signature removals were noted, some of which may have been a result of recent anti-medical cannabis campaigning that some claim was based on lies and misinformation. Regardless of the nature of it, the effort to derail efforts was far from successful.
An additional 47,328 signatures were found to be invalid, the majority of that number attributed to the signer not being enrolled to vote.
“I, Spencer J. Cox, Lieutenant Governor, do hereby declare The Utah Medical Cannabis Act initiative sufficient to be submitted to the voters of Utah for their approval or rejection.” said a signed statement.
Utah Patients Coalition, a driving force behind the campaign to get the initiative on the November ballot were ecstatic with the news.
“BREAKING: we qualified for the ballot! Finally, voters will be able to make sure patients aren’t treated as criminals,” the group tweeted.
The Utah Patients Coalition is a political campaign committee that was formed specifically to support a 2018 ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in the state.
The battle may not be over yet. Utah Patients’ Coalition recently reported a group called DrugSafeUtah have filed a lawsuit concerning the ballot initiative against the Lieutenant Governor, a suit the Coalition called a ‘Hail Mary’ measure.
“Having failed to remove enough signatures to stop our progress – and after engaging in deceptive tactics to persuade petition signers to rescind their support – the opposition has now filed a frivolous lawsuit,” said DJ Schanz, Utah Patients Coalition director.
The group intends assisting the Lieutenant Governor in battling the suit and had already filed a motion to intervene.
Also recently, The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (aka LDS or Mormon) published a long list of concerns relating to a medical cannabis program in the state; a list that was rebutted point-by-point by the Libertas Institute
The proposed Utah Medical Cannabis Act can be viewed here.