Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pro-Medical Marijuana Group Launches Idaho Ballot Initiative

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

UPDATE: March 8, 2013

A spokesperson for Compassionate Idaho announced March 8 that the group "jumped the gun" and would instead launch its statewide petition drive on Friday, March 15 to put a medical marijuana initiative before Idaho voters.

"This petition will circulate until April 30, 2014 to appear on the 2014 ballot," wrote Lindsey Rinehart, executive director of Compassionate Idaho. "Teams are in place and developing rapidly, but we still need more volunteers."

ORIGINAL POST: March 6, 2013

With the goal of garnering more than 50,000 signatures, Compassionate Idaho and advocates for medical marijuana hope to put their cause on Gem State ballots in 2014.

“Patients need medicine now," Lindsey Rinehart, executive director of Compassionate Idaho, told Boise Weekly. "We need safe access now."

Rinehart told BW that beginning Friday, March 8, her organization will launch the petition drive—calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in the Gem State—looking to wrap up the effort on April 30, 2014.

“We didn’t succeed in 2012," she said. "And we aren’t going to wait another two years. We aren’t going to wait until 2016.”

When asked about Compassionate Idaho's motivations toward the recreational use of pot, Rinehart said “It’s not on our agenda.”

“There are patients going to jail for treating their illness” said Rinehart. “A lot of people are leaving our state to live in neighboring states because they’re scared.”

Rinehart pointed to a fellow advocate diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“She was arrested four times for treating her illness [with marijuana]," said Rinehart. "And she was eventually going to face prison time.”

Now accepting volunteers, Rinehart expressed hopes of gathering signatures and educating Idahoans about medical marijuana.

Rinehart told BW that the petition drive would include volunteers gathering signatures near shopping centers and college campuses, in addition to an online effort at compassionateidaho.org.

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