Hailey To Vote Again on Legalizing Marijuana?

Hailey To Vote Again on Legalizing Marijuana?
Posted by CN Staff on February 14, 2008 at 05:45:06 PT
By Terry Smith, Express Staff Writer
Source: Idaho Mountain Express
Idaho -- Hailey's electorate gets to do it all over again—vote on four new citizen-driven initiatives to legalize marijuana within the city limits. Probably. Unless something happens to derail the whole thing. Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson is doing legal research to see if three of the four can be knocked off the ballot, and pro-marijuana advocate Ryan Davidson said he's willing to withdraw the initiatives if the Hailey City Council will make an earnest effort to negotiate with him.
The initiatives are not exactly new. They are identical to four marijuana initiatives that were placed before the electorate on Nov. 6, 2007. Three were approved and the other was rejected. City Clerk Heather Dawson informed the City Council Monday night that Davidson's new initiative petitions have been certified and she's scheduled the election for May 27. The council had little choice but to approve. City Councilman Fritz Haemmerle grumbled a little anyway. "If you keep accommodating each and every time, you're going to have election, after election, after election," Haemmerle said. Davidson, chairman of The Liberty Lobby of Idaho, filed his new petitions on Jan. 22 after learning that city officials planned to file a lawsuit in 5th District Court seeking a declaratory judgement on the three initiatives approved on Nov. 6. All three have provisions that appear to conflict with state and federal law. "I kind of assumed that the council would do something like this," Davidson said. Approved in November were initiatives to legalize medical use of marijuana, to legalize industrial use of hemp and to make enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority for the Hailey Police Department. Rejected was an initiative to give the city the authority to tax and regulate sales and use of marijuana within the city limits. Davidson said a declaratory judgement against the three approved initiatives cannot keep the four new initiatives off the ballot. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled in September 2006 that voters have the right to vote on citizen-driven initiatives regardless of the appearance of illegality. Davidson brought that lawsuit to the high court over similar marijuana legalization initiative petitions that he submitted to the city of Sun Valley. Despite a long history of legal battles with municipalities in the Wood River Valley, Davidson said he's willing to extend an olive branch to the Hailey City Council. "I would be willing to make the offer to the city," Davidson said. "That if they would be willing to sit down and negotiate a way to implement the spirit of the original initiatives, if they would at least make a good faith effort to do that, then I would rescind the new petitions so they wouldn't have to be voted on again." Thus far, the City Council has shown no such inclination. Williamson told the council Monday that the three approved initiatives are now city ordinances and he's going to research the possibility that they can be removed from the ballot because they are already law. As in the previous election, the council decided to print the initiatives in their entirety on the ballot rather than try to summarize them. "I'd like to think that the citizens would read it this time," said Councilwoman Martha Burke. "After what happened last time, maybe they'll read the fine print," said Councilman Don Keirn. The election would cost the city about $4,000, not including staff time. Note: City clerk sets new election for May 27.Source: Idaho Mountain Express (ID)Author: Terry Smith, Express Staff WriterPublished: Wednesday, February 13, 2008Copyright: 2008 Express Publishing, Inc.Contact:  letters mtexpress.comWebsite: Articles:Hailey Changes Course on Pot Initiatives Hailey Snuffs Out Pot Initiatives
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on February 14, 2008 at 09:48:29 PT
Lord Fritz Haemmerle....... against accommodating elections.Time for this knucklehead to be on the non-receiving end of the electoral process.
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Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on February 14, 2008 at 07:12:15 PT
Here's a radical idea! 
"If you keep accommodating each and every time, you're going to have election, after election, after election," Haemmerle said.Why not give in to THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE? You are a public servant- not the public's master or conscience! And it is the public's money- not yours! If THEY choose to override your pompous overriding of their vote, by implementing another vote with the exact same wording, it would seem that YOU are not "reading" the will of the people very well! I think, come next election time, you will be reading unemployment insurance forms, unless you start listening to the will of your constituents!
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