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Pubdate: Fri, 23 Jun 2000
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 2000 The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: OregonLive.com
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/
Author: Tomoko Hosaka


A group running an initiative campaign to legalize marijuana has sued Secretary of State Bill
Bradbury for refusing to accept electronic signatures gathered on the Internet.

The Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp, which began collecting signatures
through a Web site at www.ballotdirect.com about two weeks ago, is the first statewide
initiative campaign to gather digital signatures. The group went ahead despite knowing that
the state elections office does not accept them.

State law says petitions can have only original signatures, said Scott Tighe, the elections office
operations manager. Only lawmakers can change that, he said.

The group has collected about 100 Internet signatures, said chief petitioner D. Paul Stanford,
whose group filed the suit Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

"We think federal law will be on our side," he said of expected presidential approval of a bill
validating digital signatures.

The group needs 66,786 valid signatures by July 7 to qualify its initiative, which would allow
liquor stores to sell marijuana and the state to tax it. Supporters say they have collected more
than 67,000 signatures through traditional means -- volunteers and paid petitioners.
MAP posted-by: Don Beck