The American Civil Liberties Union and backers or a marijuana-regulation initiative have filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to restore the measure in time for this year’s general election, says the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Although more than 66,000 registered voters signed petitions for the initiative, the suit charged that officials are preventing the measure from appearing on the ballot “based on a raft of unreasonable, purposeless and unconstitutional restrictions.” To qualify for the general election, the initiative petition needed the signatures of 51,337 registered voters by June 15.
The state announced two weeks ago that supporters of the initiative, which seeks to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, had failed to get enough valid signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. Gary Peck of the ACLU of Nevada said his organization has been involved in litigation and public advocacy on ballot initiative questions. “Our prior involvement has included the support of people whose petitions we both agree and disagree with,” Peck said. “What is paramount for us is the integrity of the process. We want to make sure that the rights of the voting public are properly respected and no one is unlawfully disenfranchised. In this case, we actually support the legalization of small amounts of marijuana.”