Marijuana ballot petitions are sufficient


ALAMOSA — Alamosa City Clerk Holly Martinez determined on Thursday there are enough valid signatures to petition marijuana issues onto the November 7 ballot.

“The petition verification process for remainder of the petitions turned in on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, the deadline for the cure period, has been completed and the petitions have been determined to be sufficient,” Martinez stated.

When those gathering petition signatures initially turned them in, Martinez had determined there were not enough valid signatures to move the ballot questions forward. However, petition gatherers had additional time to collect more signatures to make up for the deficit or to correct signatures that had earlier been deemed invalid for a reason (such as incomplete signature or address) that could be corrected.

Martinez said a total of 172 additional signatures on the retail marijuana petitions and a total of 181 additional signatures for the medical marijuana petitions were turned in on Wednesday. Petitioners needed 59 valid signatures for retail and 56 for medical in order for the petitions to be considered sufficient, she explained.

“Slightly over 60 signatures on each were verified before we stopped verifying as there was no need to continue verifying once we got through the amount needed,” Martinez informed Shanna Hobbs, who had taken the lead in the petition gathering process.

Hobbs had initially turned in 403 signatures regarding the medical marijuana issue and 418 signatures for retail marijuana. She needed 212 valid signatures for both issues. In the initial verification process, however, Martinez approved 156 valid signatures on the medical petition and 153 on the retail petition, lacking 56 and 59 valid signatures, respectively.

Petitioners more than made up for the insufficient petitions, which now puts the matter before the Alamosa city council to certify the ballot measures for the city’s coordinated election with the county on November 7.

One ballot question will ask voters to permit medical marijuana facilities within the city limits and the other will seek permission for retail marijuana businesses in the city limits. The city council is considering separate questions seeking taxes on medical and retail facilities, if voters approve them.