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Marijuana Advocate Wins Federal Court Decision

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Pro-marijuana advocate Ryan Davidson has cleared another hurdle in his three-year quest to put a marijuana legalization initiative before the voters of Hailey.

His latest victory came in U.S. District Court in Boise on Monday when the court issued a preliminary injunction that bars the city of Hailey from using it's residency requirement to prevent Davidson from instigating election initiatives.

Davidson, a former Bellevue resident who now lives in Garden City, filed suit against Hailey in federal court almost three years ago over the residency issue.

The federal court ruling was Davidson's second major legal victory in his quest to put marijuana legalization initiatives before the voters in municipalities in the Wood River Valley. In September 2006 the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in Davidson's favor against the city of Sun Valley in a similar petition case. The Idaho high court held that the city of Sun Valley did not have the right to determine the constitutionality of the issue, regardless of whether or not legalization of marijuana contradicts state or federal law.

"I knew that the Supreme Court decision was going to be the first major domino to knock everything down, and that's what's happening," Davidson said Monday.

Davidson has been involved in various court actions with the cities of Hailey, Sun Valley and Ketchum for the past three years. Litigation started after Davidson filed prospective initiative petitions with the three cities in August 2004.

All three municipalities denied his petitions on the constitutionality of the issue. Hailey further declined to process his petition because he's not a city resident.

Davidson would like to put a marijuana initiative before the Hailey electorate as early the Nov. 6 general election, but time is growing short as a Sept. 21 deadline draws near for Davidson to have all his paperwork in order.

He plans to start from scratch in order to take advantage of Hailey's low voter turnout at its general election in 2005, when only 85 voters showed up at the polls in an uncontested election. His original prospective petition would have a higher signature requirement since 990 voters turned out for the general election in 2003.

To get the issue on a ballot, Davidson first has to get 20 new signatures on a prospective petition. He then needs 17 signatures, which represents 20 percent of the Hailey voter turnout in 2005, on a final petition to bring the issue to a vote. Both petitions will require city processing time, which Davidson fears could push his initiative drive beyond the Sept. 21 deadline.

"The only question is whether Hailey will try to delay me with more of their crap," Davidson said "It would be in their best interest not to do that because that would push it into February, which would cost them more to hold a special election."

Hailey attorney Ned Williamson acknowledged that the city would process Davidson's petitions.

He's got his reasons for doing what he's doing," Williamson said. "We're just trying to see that the initiative process is respected and done in the proper way."


Marijuana Advocate Targets Ketchum, Too

Pro-marijuana advocate Ryan Davidson has brought his campaign to legalize marijuana back to the city of Ketchum.

In a letter to the city dated Sept. 6, Davidson, chairman of The Liberty Lobby of Idaho, demanded that the city certify his three-year-old prospective initiative petition to allow the electorate to vote on legalizing marijuana within Ketchum's city limits.

Davidson's demand was based on his Idaho Supreme Court victory in September 2006 over the city of Sun Valley on a similar proposed initiative. The Idaho high court ruled then that Sun Valley did not have the right to determine the constitutionality of the issue.

Davidson's three-year legal battle with municipalities in Blaine County started in August 2004 when he filed prospective initiative petitions to legalize marijuana with the cities of Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey. All three municipalities denied his petitions and a series of lawsuits ensued.

Davidson is also pushing to for initiative votes in Hailey and Sun Valley, perhaps as early as the Nov. 6 municipal general elections.

The City of Sun Valley certified his original petition late last month. He now needs the signatures of 118 registered Sun Valley voters on a final initiative petition in order to get the issue on a ballot. The number of signatures required is 20 percent of the electorate who voted in Sun Valley's 2003 general election.

Davidson would need 127 signatures in Ketchum on a final initiative petition in order to get the issue on a ballot.



News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Idaho Mountain Express (Ketchum, ID)
Author: Terry Smith
Contact: Idaho Mountain Express
Copyright: 2007 Express Publishing Inc.
Website1: Marijuana advocate wins federal court decision
Website2: Marijuana advocate targets Ketchum, too
 
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