Federal Judge Orders Ohio To Let Marijuana Decriminalization Campaigns Collect Signatures Electronically

Federal Judge Orders Ohio To Let Marijuana Decriminalization Campaigns Collect Signatures Electronically

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that activists seeking to place marijuana decriminalization measures on local ballots across Ohio can collect signatures electronically after they were forced to suspend in-person gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. The court also ordered state officials to extend the deadline to submit signatures from July 1 to July 31. The Sensible Movement Coalition (SMC), which has been behind more than a dozen successful decriminalization initiatives across the state in recent years, had big plans for 2020. They were gearing up to collect signatures in 14 additional municipalities before officials enacted stay-at-home orders and required social distancing measures. Those restrictions effectively spelled doom for the campaigns, and activists went to court to argue that preventing an alternative signature gathering method was unconstitutional under the circumstances. Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio sided with the plaintiffs and ruled that electronic signatures for their initiatives—as well as for separate campaigns on a minimum wage increase and election security measures that joined the suit—can be accepted. “The wet signature and witness requirements require circulators to go into the public and collect signatures in person. But the close, person-to-person contacts required for in person signature gathering have been strongly discouraged—if not prohibited—for several months because of the ongoing public health crisis, and likely pose a danger to the health of the circulators and the signers,” he said in his order. While the judge stressed that his ruling is not a…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Federal Judge Orders Ohio To Let Marijuana Decriminalization Campaigns Collect Signatures Electronically
reposted by Cannabis News World

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