MISSOULA — A Montana group working to legalize recreational marijuana use sued the Montana Secretary of State for permission to collect signatures electronically.
The lawsuit by New Approach Montana said state measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have stymied the group’s ability to carry out traditional signature gathering, The Missoulian reported Wednesday.
New Approach Montana filed an injunction request in Lewis and Clark County District Court April 6 to temporarily halt enforcement of in-person signature gathering requirements.
The group wants to use a third-party company, DocuSign Inc., to facilitate the collection process.
New Approach seeks to legalize marijuana use by ballot initiative and set the age of consumption at 21 by state constitutional amendment.
The campaign needs to secure 25,468 signatures for the ballot initiative and 50,936 signatures for the constitutional amendment to appear before voters.
Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, who is listed as a defendant along with the state, did not immediately respond to the lawsuit.
Stapleton’s office has until April 21 to respond. A judge has scheduled an April 28 telephone hearing.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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