CBS News’ local affiliate KPIX-5 in San Francisco reports that medical marijuana advocates are offering free marijuana for signatures on a ballot referendum petition in San Jose.
The advocates have set up tents near San Jose’s City Hall and plan to stay there the next few days so they can gather signatures throughout the day. The news of the advocates’ plan is spreading on Instagram and Facebook. The advocates are passing out coupons for one gram of free pot and a visit to a medical marijuana doctor evaluation, which is worth about $50. Residents of San Jose over 18 are eligible.
The plan is to gather enough signatures to certify two November referendums designed to overturn the city’s tough new pot club law.
Dave Hodges, of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition, told KPIX that the advocates were not buying votes, asserting, “We are giving vouchers to San Jose residents. Whether or not they will sign the petition or register to vote is up to them.” They need 40,000 signatures to meet the 100,000 threshold.
Hodges boasted, “Potentially I am on the line for about 100 pounds of weed.”
Mayor Chuck Reed told KPIX, “Well, I am concerned that they’re offering anybody free anything to sign a petition.” Reed said it was up to the Registrar of Voters and Secretary of State to determine if anyone is buying votes. He added, “The people of San Jose are not going to be supportive of a referendum. We have a strong and effective ordinance that will control marijuana but still allow people to have access to it.”
Reed estimated that there are 70 illegal pot clubs in the city.