Sponsors of pot initiative sue the state

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Backers of an initiative to decriminalize marijuana are suing the state to try to get the measure on the ballot.

Ken Jacobus, attorney for Free Hemp in Alaska, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Anchorage Superior Court, arguing the group should be able to get its initiative before voters despite failing to meet state record-keeping rules.

Earlier this month the Division of Elections said the group had not turned in enough valid signatures. The division rejected 194 of the group's petition booklets, citing poor record-keeping.

Jacobus acknowledged the group did not file sponsor accountability reports with all its petition booklets, which identify the person who circulated each booklet. He said the sponsors' right to petition their government and enact laws by initiative is a constitutional right that trumps the state's requirement for sponsor account- ability reports.

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