Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jul 2004
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2004 Associated Press
Cited: The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana (CRCM)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


LAS VEGAS -- A marijuana initiative has failed to qualify in Clark County, 
jeopardizing the petition's ability to make the statewide November ballot, 
election officials said Thursday.

To qualify for the Nov. 2 election, the initiative must collect 51,337 
valid signatures statewide and qualify in 13 of Nevada's 17 counties.

"It would be a longshot if they were to make the total of 51,000 if they 
are relying on just the other counties to make up the difference," said 
Steve George, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office. "Usually if 
something doesn't carry in Clark County ... it will have a hard time making 

The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana submitted a total of 66,135 
signatures across Nevada. The initiative would allow adults to legally 
possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

Of the 35,400 signatures turned into the Clark County Election Department, 
about 26,730 were verified, according to Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax. 
The initiative needed 31,361 signatures to qualify in Clark County.

George said the 26,730 signatures includes some 13,000 which are in dispute 
because a petition affidavit was not completed. The Secretary of State's 
Office has requested the State Attorney General's Office determine whether 
those signatures should count.

Backers of the marijuana initiative said they will have enough valid 
signatures in the remaining counties to bring the issue before voters.

"We knew Clark County and Elko were going to be close, so if we make it in 
Elko, I'm confident we'll have enough valid signatures in 13 counties," 
said Billy Rogers, head of the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana 
and a member of the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Project.

Five counties have reported having enough valid signatures, according to 
the Secretary of State's Office, which has yet to process and review the 
signature counts due Friday.

Ronda Moore, deputy secretary of state for elections, said Elko reported 
its count at 104 percent of needed valid signatures and Clark came in at 85 
percent of what was needed. She cautioned that nothing is official until 
the review process is completed.

The other counties that already have submitted their counts to the 
Secretary of State's Office are Carson, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Eureka and 
Douglas counties. Mineral, Carson, Lander and Lyon counties qualified the 
petition. Eureka and Douglas counties did not.

The marijuana committee forgot to turn in 6,000 signatures to the Clark 
County Election Department by the June 15 deadline. A Clark County judge 
later ruled election officials were not obligated to count the signatures. 
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