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Smoked out

Will there be a medical marijuana measure on the ballot in Ann Arbor come November?

That is the burning question of the moment. On Aug. 15, Libertarian Party members pushing the initiative submitted 5,970 petition signatures to the city clerk. According to party spokesperson Charles Goodman, who is also running for mayor of Ann Arbor, only 4,300 valid signatures are needed to get the issue on the city’s Nov. 7 ballot.

Just four days after the petitions were turned in, however, Ann Arbor’s interim city clerk, Yvonne Carl, sent Goodman a letter saying the petitions were invalid for two reasons: the signatures were submitted six days late and the group did not identify itself on the petitions.

Carl contends that, because the ballot proposal is a city charter amendment, the signatures were due Aug. 9.

But Goodman claims that three members of his party were told by the city and county that the signatures were due Aug. 15, and intends to fight the clerk’s decision.

"If the city’s clerk’s office persists in ignoring the will of the people, then the City Council should use their power to put the measure on the ballot," says Goodman.

Attorney David Raaflaub, who represents the Libertarian group, says that he is attempting to resolve the matter with the clerk’s office and the City Council. If talk doesn’t work, Raaflaub says he will file a lawsuit against the city on behalf of the party.

"We will press on until it is on a ballot for the voters to decide," he says. Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or