Supporters of a ballot initiative to legalize medical cannabis in Utah are criticizing their opponents for their tactics to get people to remove ballot initiatives.
Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) released a video on Monday morning showing a woman asking someone to remove their signature and making false claims.
Watch the video here:
“It’s simply filled with fanciful confabulations, outright untruths and attempts to manipulate the person being visited,” said TRUCE director Christine Stenquist.
But the Utah Medical Association, which is primarily behind the campaign to get people to remove their signatures, told FOX 13 it did not believe the person on the video worked for them.
“We doubt seriously that the video is one of our people. She is NOT using any of our arguments and is totally distorting what the Drug Safe Utah campaign is trying to do,” UMA spokesman Mark Fotheringham said in an email on Monday.
Fotheringham said Drug Safe Utah (a coalition of groups opposed to medical marijuana on the November ballot that includes the UMA, Utah Eagle Forum and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Metro Narcotics Task Force) has hired third parties to get people to remove their signatures.
“We do not, however, have any control over who THEY hire. If this is one of their canvassers, she is in serious need of training. None of what is portrayed on the video is in accordance with our name removal campaign,” he wrote.
An analysis by FOX 13 shows that medical marijuana has qualified to be on the November ballot, reaching the necessary number of signatures in 27 of Utah’s 29 Senate districts. Citizen initiative petitions need to clear a threshold of signatures in 26 districts to qualify.
Until May 15, opponents can ask people to remove their signatures to undercut that count. Supporters of both medical marijuana and Count My Vote (the direct primary initiative) have decried tactics being used to get people to remove signatures.