News & Views » Columns

Smoked again

If at first you don’t succeed — sue! That’s the tactic Libertarians for Medical Marijuana Reform are using to get their initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot in Ann Arbor. On Aug. 15, the group turned in about 6,000 signatures to the Ann Arbor city clerk, but were told that the petitions were six days late. (The party needed 4,300 to get the issue on the ballot.)

According to Charles Goodman, Libertarian Party member and Ann Arbor mayoral candidate, the city and county clerk told him and others that the signatures were due Aug. 15. Even the interim city clerk, Yvonne Carl, admitted to News Hits that her office gave out some inaccurate information. But she says that petitions for City Charter amendments, such as the medical marijuana initiative, were due Aug. 9.

Last week, Goodman and others went before the Ann Arbor City Council to ask if it would put the measure on the ballot. But the vote failed, 6-to-4.

Now the group is turning to the courts, says attorney David Raaflaub, who filed a lawsuit on the party’s behalf last week in Washtenaw County Circuit Court; Chief Judge Melinda Morris is presiding over the case.

According to Goodman, for the initiative to go on the ballot, the judge must render a decision no later than 60 days before the Nov. 7 election. Don’t blame Goodman if we’ve miscounted, but News Hits figures that’s Sept. 8.

“We believe the people of Ann Arbor want medical marijuana reform,” says Goodman. “We are going to do whatever we can to see that they get to vote on this in the fall.”

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

comment