Medical pot question not certified for Palisade ballot

Petitions to get a question on the Palisade ballot this fall to ban the town’s only medical marijuana dispensary have not been certified, town officials said Wednesday.

Petitions containing 187 signatures to put a question on the ballot banning the dispensary were turned in a week ago by two town residents, Dominica Steele and Jacob Steele, Town Clerk Carol Speakman said.

But a news release put out by Diane Cox on behalf of a group calling itself Safe & Healthy announced that it did that on Tuesday.

Speakman, however, said Cox isn’t a registered Palisade voter and has no standing with the town. Additionally, Cox’s group isn’t the official issue committee that Speakman certified as eligible to circulate petitions, she said.

“Ms. Cox can exercise her right to free speech, but she has no official standing in the citizen initiative process in Palisade,” Speakman said. “She was not listed on the committee that turned in the original petitions for me to certify.”

Speakman said the town has 30 days from when the petitions were submitted to her office, or July 15, to validate if there are enough to warrant placing the question on the ballot. Town residents have until July 25 to protest whether the petitions were circulated properly or signatures on them are from registered town voters, she said.

Only 85 of the 187 signatures on the petitions need to be from registered town voters for the measure to qualify for the ballot.


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