Initiatives Heat Up VI: DC Board of Elections Rejected Thousands of Valid Signatures, MPP Challenging 8/16/02

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(press release from the Marijuana Policy Project)

On Friday, August 16, the Marijuana Policy Project ( will file formal papers asking the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) to reconsider its decision not to certify Initiative 63, the Medical Marijuana Initiative of 2002, for the November ballot. At an 11:00am press conference in front of the BOEE's offices, MPP Executive Director Robert Kampia and other speakers will present evidence of massive errors by the BOEE's staff, which resulted in the rejection of thousands of valid petition signatures.

Initiative petitions must contain valid signatures from 5% of the District's registered voters, and that total must include 5% of voters from at least five of the city's eight wards. There is no dispute that the more than 18,000 signatures accepted by the Board met the citywide requirement, but the BOEE claimed that MPP had presented enough valid signatures from only four of eight wards. Since then, MPP has identified thousands of valid signatures that were wrongly rejected as not belonging to registered voters -- enough to surpass the 5% requirement in at least six wards.

One of those voters, Sanho Tree (who was interviewed on the July 30 ABC News special "War on Drugs, A War on Ourselves"), will speak at the press conference. "I've been a registered voter in the District for 14 years," Tree said. "For the Board to throw out my signature because I'm 'not registered' is appalling, and it's clear I'm just one of many the Board has disenfranchised."

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Issue #250, 8/16/02 A Message to Our Readers: 250 Issues of The Week Online | US Seeks Civil Injunction Against Lakota Hemp Grower, Supporters Celebrate Successful Harvest | DRCNet Interview: Jack Cole, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition | Initiatives Heat Up I: Tumultuous Week in Nevada, Cops Flip-Flop on Endorsement, Resort to Bald-Faced Lies | Initiatives Heat Up II: Storm Clouds over Ohio | Initiatives Heat Up III: Michigan Governor Flails and Fails in Anti-Initiative Move | Initiatives Heat Up IV: DC "Treatment Not Jail" Initiative Makes November Ballot, Excludes Marijuana, Heroin, Psychedelics | Initiatives Heat Up V: Arizona to Vote on Marijuana Decrim, Much More | Initiatives Heat Up VI: DC Board of Elections Rejected Thousands of Valid Signatures, MPP Challenging | Newsbrief: Afghan Heroin Labs Reappear | Newsbrief: Grateful Dead Reunion Just Like Old Days -- Many Arrested | Newsbrief: NJ Bans Devices That Defeat Drug Tests | Newsbrief: East Europe Teens Catching Up to West in Drug Use | Newsbrief: DARE Axed in Cincy -- Dayton Next? | Newsbrief: Canada Judge Rips DEA Law Violations | Newsbrief: NORML Not Allowed at Indiana State Fair | Newsbrief: Infected Needles, Alcoholism Lead to Increased Liver Damage, Deaths in England, Study Finds | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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