Utah Medical Cannabis Initiative Campaign Threatens To Sue Opponents
The Utah medical cannabis campaign has successfully gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on the Utah ballot in November.
Utah was the first state in the nation to pass a CBD-specific medical cannabis measure in 2014, however, the CBD-specific law is largely symbolic.
Only a very small percentage of suffering patients in Utah qualify for the current medical cannabis program, patients cannot cultivate their own medicine, and there are no licensed retail outlets to purchase medical cannabis from.
The suffering patients of Utah deserve a real medical cannabis program, which they will get if/when the 2018 medical cannabis initiative passes in Utah in November.
However, an effort currently being carried out by opponents seeks to derail the medical cannabis initiative before voters get a chance to vote on it.
Cannabis opponents try to convince signature providers to change their minds
Cannabis opponents in Utah have been trying to reach out to voters that provided their signature to the medical cannabis initiative to try to convince them to change their minds.
Nearly 200,000 Utah voters supplied their signatures for the initiative, of which 113.143 had to be valid and meet signature thresholds in at least 26 of 29 state senate districts.
If medical cannabis opponents are able to convince enough voters to retract their signatures to either get the signature count below the 113.143 threshold or in any of the 26 state senate districts, the initiative will be removed from the November ballot.
It's an underhanded political tactic, but opponents are clearly desperate with the initiative currently polling at 77%.
As if the effort wasn't despicable enough, reportedly opponents may be incorporating unlawful practices and the effort is being backed by the DEA which in itself could be an election law violation.
The Utah Patients Coalition is planning to file a lawsuit against opponents
Today the Utah Patients Coalition announced that it is planning to file a lawsuit against the effort that seeks to remove the medical cannabis initiative from the November ballot.
“Your efforts to mislead voters who signed the Petition, in order to induce the withdrawal of their signatures from the Petition, not only renders the withdrawals void and without legal effect, but also gives rise to civil liability for damages incurred by the Coalition." the campaign stated in a letter sent to Fox 13.
"Further, even if you did not employ fraudulent means to procure signature withdrawals, the withdrawal forms are defective and incomplete, and were improperly submitted to the county clerks." the letter went on to say.
"Finally, it appears that the Drug Enforcement Agency’s affiliation with Drug Safe Utah places them in direct and continuing violation of federal law,” Utah Patients Coalition attorney Kory Langhofer wrote.
It's unclear at this time if the threat of a lawsuit will be enough to halt the anti-medical cannabis initiative effort, or if the effort ceased operations if it would be enough to quell threats of a lawsuit from the initiative backers.
Also, it's unknown if election regulators will take their own action against the anti-medical cannabis coalition.
How Green Flower readers can help keep the Utah medical cannabis initiative on the ballot
Below are things that medical cannabis supporters in Utah can do to help keep the initiative on the November ballot:
- If you have provided your signature to the initiative effort, refuse to retract it
- Inform other voters that have supplied their signature to do the same
- Educate voters and non-voters about the anti-medical cannabis effort and report any unlawful tactics that you see
- Call out opponents who spread false information about the initiative
- Share campaign alerts on social media
Utah patients need and deserve a comprehensive medical cannabis program. One that helps as many suffering patients as possible.
Please do your part to help keep the initiative on the ballot. Utah voters need to be the ones that decide whether the initiative passes, and not a small group of opponents who wish to maintain the unacceptable status quo.
Want to Help Change the Cannabis Laws Where You Live?
Watch Green Flower's online course and help crush prohibition!
Should medical cannabis opponents be held accountable for what they are doing in Utah?