Medical marijuana battle goes down to the wire

Local News

FARMINGTON (News4Utah) – The battle to get medical marijuana on the ballot went right down to the wire with opponents of the initiative gathering at the Davis County Clerk’s Office to turn in signature removal forms late Monday night.

The deadline for signature removal forms was Monday but state law doesn’t specify whether it’s midnight or 5 pm when County Clerks’ offices close. Utah Patients Coalition Director DJ Schanz says Drug Safe Utah volunteers were still getting signature removals until 9:30 pm and then gathered at the Davis County Clerk’s office.

“At about 10 pm in the evening, they were all there camped out,” Schanz told News4Utah Tuesday. “We don’t know for what purpose. The County Clerk did happen to be in the office as well. When news reporters came they all scattered, most of the people that were with the Drug Safe Utah organization and the County Clerk ended up coming out of his office at about 11:30 in the evening so we don’t know if there were any special concessions given.”

Drug Safe Utah issued a statement, reading in part:

“…before accusing someone of playing dirty pool, a person should read the rules. the submission of name removal forms by legitimate Drug Safe Utah representatives has been in accordance with instructions given by the Lt. Governor’s office as stated on the name removal form itself. Knowing the signature removal campaign would last past office hours, Drug Safe Utah tried to make arrangements to drop forms off directly to county clerk as per the form instructions.”

“According to the Davis County Clerk those removal signatures that were given to him past 5 o’clock will be time stamped as of today not as of yesterday,” Schanz said. “Our opposition’s tactics and gameplan to remove us from the ballot we feel has been largely unsuccessful. I think we’re going to be qualified in 27 of the 29 Senate Districts and we’re excited to give Utah voters the chance to vote on this important issue.”

All the forms are now being processed by staff members at the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office. They have until June 1st to finish the process.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...