The inner circle at Green The Vote decided that exaggerating their signature count would motivate and excite their allies to go get even more signatures. The reality is that this deception may have been what doomed the initiative petition.
On Monday the Secretary of State, James Williamson, announced that SQ797 had only 102k votes that were counted by his staff. The bid for a constitutional amendment ballot question needed 123k signatures. The other petition (SQ796) would have made Medical Marijuana a constitutionally protected health policy.
In the outrage that followed the July 10th Board of Health's rogue decisions, Isaac Caviness & Dody Sullivan declared that more than 70k signatures suddenly were acquired. Within the next 3 weeks they declared that they had about 10k more signatures than were needed. But their actions suggested more panic than jubilation. When conventional wisdom said to turn in the acquired signatures and try to get certified for the November ballot, they declared their intention to take far more signatures and turn in the papers on the last hour of the last day (August 8th).
Now the group is left with a tarnished reputation. It's a huge gift to the prohibitionists who insist that the who legalization movement is a manifestation of the sinfulness of carnal and corrupt people. Before this revelation, the medical marijuana advocates enjoyed the moral high ground and the state's medical & health agencies were seen as the more corrupted and compromised entities. The chief legal council for the Dept of Health is facing multiple felony charges. The Executive Director of the State board of Pharmacy was fired and faces a bribery investigation. Several board of Health members are under a cloud of suspicion for collusion in the attempts to force unconstitutional rules in the way of medical patients. They also face multiple lawsuits from proponents of Medical Marijuana.
Green The Vote wisely, albeit delayed; chose to appoint new leadership to their statewide organization. They would do well to make amends with other aligned groups whom they have also harmed by their wilful deceit.
Meanwhile we have a medical marijuana program that needs everyone's full efforts to manage in a positive and honest manner. Too many ill people are counting on this hopeful treatment for many chronic condidtions.