- August 15 - On Friday, August 16, the Marijuana Policy Project
(MPP) 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 11:00 a.m.
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 five percent of the
District's registered voters, and that total must include five percent 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 five percent 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."
WHO: MPP Executive Director Robert Kampia, MPP Director of Government Relations
Steve Fox, Sanho Tree
WHAT: Press conference to announce filing of "motion to reconsider"
with the Board of Elections and Ethics
WHERE: Outside the front doors of the Judiciary Square building at 441 - 4th
Street NW, followed by the delivery of the motion in Suite 250-North
WHEN: Friday, August 16, at 11:00 a.m. EDT
VISUALS: Poster-size enlargements of petitions with falsely rejected signatures,
illustrating BOEE errors
The Marijuana Policy Project works to minimize the harm associated with
marijuana -- both the consumption of marijuana and the laws that are intended
to prohibit such use. In association with Students for Sensible Drug Policy, MPP
will hold its first national conference -- featuring a special appearance by comedian
Bill Maher -- on Nov. 8-10 in Anaheim, California. For more information, see http://www.mpp.org