A Missouri marijuana advocacy group is protesting the citation of two petition gatherers in St. Charles over the weekend. The volunteers for Show-Me Cannabis Regulation say they were detained by police shortly after midnight while collecting signatures.
Dave Roland, an attorney representing the two, says no ordinance was violated because collecting signatures is a First Amendment right.
“Police officers ought to know that there is no legitimate authority for a public official to prevent people from simply explaining different ideas and gathering public support for a ballot initiative like this,” Roland said.
Roland is asking St. Charles to drop the charges, return confiscated petitions, and destroy all copies that were made.
A St. Charles Police official says the matter is under investigation and could not comment any further.
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation is seeking 150,000 signatures to put an initiative on November's ballot that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.