Medical Marijuana on Ballot in DC 9/18/98

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Kris Lotlikar

After a long effort to qualify a medical marijuana initiative for the District of Columbia ballot, ACTUP DC has succeeded. The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics today certified I-59 for the ballot.

Organizers of I-59 had turned in 32,000 signatures in support of the measure in July, but almost half of the signatures were dismissed after the election board cited problems with the affidavit of a person who circulated the petition. On September 3rd, Superior Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled that the election board was wrong to set aside more than 4,600 signatures based on a "harmless" discrepancy.

Wayne Turner of ACTUP was stunned by the decision. He told The Week Online, "Getting on the ballot was a monumental achievement. This has been grassroots politics at its finest." The campaign to legalize the possession, use, cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical if recommended by a physician will begin on September 15. "We have seven weeks to get the word out and get our people to the polls." I-59 and its predecessor, I-57, were originally sponsored by Steve Michael, who passed away from complications resulting from AIDS early this summer.

Persons interested in volunteering with the I-59 campaign can call (202) 547-9404 or e-mail [email protected]. Further information is available at

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Issue #59, 9/18/98 Shattered Lives Book Offer Continues, Eyegive Participants Raising Valuable Funds for DRCNet | Alert Feedback | Free Will Foster Campaign Continues | Attention Students | DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine | House Approves Anti-Medical Cannabis Resolution, Patient Arrested For Medicating in McCollum's Office | Medical Marijuana on Ballot in DC | Industrial Hemp Making Strides Worldwide | Methadone Clinic Sues Fairfax Police | Immigrant Children Used to Sell Cocaine in Vancouver's Black Market | Editorial: Whose Privacy?
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