The city of Troy, Michigan could soon find itself in a battle over medical marijuana. Cannabis advocacy group People For A Responsible Troy has been gathering petition signatures in an attempt to get a medical marijuana bill on this year’s ballot. But now, the petition is at the center of a new controversy, as city officials say the petition has too many fraudulent signatures.
What’s Going on in Troy, Michigan?
The heart of the controversy has to do with how many signatures the medical marijuana proposal has received. According to local news sources, a proposal must receive at least 3,000 petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.
And as far as People For A Responsible Troy is concerned, their medical marijuana petition has received more than enough signatures. In fact, the group said that somewhere around 4,500 people have signed the petition.
But, shortly after submitting the signatures, the group received bad news. City officials said there were too many fraudulent and invalid signatures.
In particular, the city claimed that there were two groups of signatures that did not qualify. The first group included around 20 signatures. City officials said they were forged.
Further, officials noted that the forged signatures were made to look like the signatures of well known and influential citizens. City officials decided to throw out these signatures.
The second group of signatures was much larger. It reportedly included multiple pages’ worth of signatures. They were reportedly tossed for a variety of reasons. For example, city officials said some of the pages were not properly signed by a notary.
After disqualifying so many signatures, city officials said the petition would not pass. That decision effectively makes it impossible for the medical marijuana bill to appear on this year’s ballot.
People For A Responsible Troy Fight Back
After hearing the news, People For A Responsible Troy decided to fight back. In fact, the group is now saying that city officials may have wrongfully disqualified a large number of petition signatures.
People For A Responsible Troy said they accept the officials’ decision to throw out the possibly forged signatures. But the group pointed out that even after getting rid of those 20 or signatures, the petition should still have more than enough to qualify for the ballot.
The advocacy group further claimed that city officials had wrongfully disqualified the second group of signatures. People For A Responsible Troy said there is no reason to disqualify so many signatures.
Further, the group pointed out that when all those signatures are included in the final count, there is more than enough support for the medical marijuana proposal.
After all this back and forth, the group is now suing to get these signatures back on the petition. The group is reportedly letting the city cancel the 20 or so forged signatures.
The group has officially filed suit. Now, the case goes to the Oakland County Circuit Court. There, a county judge will decide how to handle the situation.
At this point, both city officials and People For A Responsible Troy said they don’t know who forged the 20 other signatures. Local law enforcement is reportedly working to figure out where the forgeries came from.
Similarly, it’s unclear how the county judge will rule on the other signatures in question.