In a unanimous decision, the Idaho Supreme Court has declared that SB 1110, the bill that increased initiative signature collection thresholds from 6% of 18 legislative districts to 6% of all 35 districts, is an unconstitutional abridgment of petitioning rights, voiding the law.
This means that PAMDA, our Personal Adult Marijuana Decriminalization Act, is subject to the original 18-district rule that the currently circulating IMMA, or Idaho Medical Marijuana Act.
While we launched our signature gathering last weekend at the Boise Hempfest, we were awaiting the decision to determine whether we would continue with PAMDA. Had the court ruled against us, we likely would have dropped the PAMDA initiative so we could focus all our efforts on the IMMA. Trying to qualify a 35-district initiative and an 18-district initiative made no sense.
But with this decision, not only are PAMDA and IMMA subject to the same 18-district requirement, should they fail this time, they can be revived again under the 18-district requirement. There is not the same pressure now to concentrate solely on IMMA.
The court also invalidated a new law sneaked in by the legislature that delays until July 1 of the next year the implementation of any initiative that passes in an election year. This was meant to give the legislature time in the session following a successful initiative to gut or completely repeal that initiative.
With this decision, PAMDA and/or IMMA would go into effect immediately upon passage, forcing the legislature into the unenviable position of taking away rights that Idahoans have already secured.
We will be organizing our volunteer teams for PAMDA shortly. We’ll need your help to collect the roughly 65,000 signatures from 18 of 35 legislative districts.