A Statement From Douglas Hiatt, I-1068 Campaign Chairman

May 20, 2010

I’m posting this on Douglas’ behalf since he and computers just don’t get along. The words are his.-Philip

A few words from Douglas Hiatt, I-1068 Chairman:

First, I want to thank everyone who is working so hard to make our shared dream of justice for cannabis users and hemp growers a reality. You are awesome and I respect everyone’s efforts and want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I am gathering signatures too, although I am sure I am lagging behind your efforts!

I want to take a moment to explain what is happening with the campaign. We started to get a hard count on signatures last week to update our earlier count. Right in the middle of that, some donors offered to have our signatures counted and validated. This is fantastic for us as it allows us the most accurate count possible. It also costs a lot of money, like $10,000 or so. I made sure that the company are pros and people we want to work with and they are. I sent our first batch of sigs to California and felt like I was sending children off. I know many people had issues with this, and I understand, but there is no other way to do this. We need the count and the validation because we are closing in on the July 2 deadline and we need to know what we have to do.

As soon as we get the rest of the signatures in and counted we will let everyone know where we are for sure.

I have been trying since the beginning of the campaign to raise money for this effort. Vivian McPeak and Ezra Eickmeyer and I spent two weeks in California begging for resources from lots of folks in the movement, and anyone else we could think of, and came up with nothing. We have asked all of the major drug policy reform groups for help and, with the exception of NORML, we have gotten very little except emails and newsletter mentions. We  got a lot of great endorsements, which we are grateful for, but it is tough to pay the printer with endorsements.

We as a campaign have now done more with less than any other organization in initiative history, and this is your achievement. We continue to try to raise money for the campaign and are hoping for help as we have been contacted recently by a couple of coalitions that may help us. I had hoped to be able to augment our volunteeer effort with some help from paid signature gatherers and to be able to offer anyone currently with the campaign the option of working with the paid group. This has not happened and we cannot count on it happening. We must continue on with or without hope of help.

I believe that the campaign currently has 100,000 signatures or so. We need to get everything coming in on a continuous basis now so we can get accurate running counts so we really know what we have to do. Right now, I think we have about 220,000 signatures to go to hit our overall goal of 320,000. If we get help, great, then maybe we get to 420,000!

We have to go go go with a maximum effort and push or all we have already done will be wasted. We must get this on the ballot! There is no other way. If you believe in polls I will tell you something else: those same donors ran one, and it shows us winning if we can get I-1068 on the ballot! Let’s do it. Let’s go crazy and show em’ how its done!

With love and respect,

Douglas Hiatt

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