Article by Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times
Missouri came this close to putting a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot — but in the end it wasn’t enough.
New Approach Missouri, the group which backed the ballot initiative campaign and took in more than $1 million dollars to fund its efforts, came up short by just 23 signatures. This afternoon, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that the Missouri Secretary of State and local election authorities acted properly when they invalidated hundreds of petition signatures that had been collected using the wrong county form. The ruling effectively kills any chance for the measure to make the ballot.
In a Facebook post published at 3 p.m., New Approach Missouri president Lee Winters promised that “the fight isn’t yet done” while expressing regret over what must be a massive disappointment for volunteers and hopeful patients across Missouri.
The proposed ballot measure had sought to legalize pot for patients suffering from chronic illness and pain.
“Due to the judge’s ruling that signatures collected on the wrong county petition pages would not be accepted as valid we were found to be short of the minimum required number of signatures,” Winters wrote in the post. “I am so incredibly sorry that we weren’t yet able to deliver the outcome that so many are counting on us for. We are all still here and 2018 is right around the corner. This fight isn’t yet done, not by a long shot.”