After our monthly total dipped below 10,000 for the first time in July, we took advantage of the unusually temperate August weather and gathered 12,163 signatures last month. That makes August our best month for signature collection to date, and we hope to continue building upon that success as the summer turns to fall.
Volunteers have now been hard at work gathering signatures since late January, and they need your help! Will you support them and our effort to bring medical cannabis to Missouri by contributing $10, $25, or $50 now?
We want to give special acknowledgement to the ten outstanding volunteers who gathered the most signatures in August.
10. Douglas Keeth: 341
9. Kyle Kisner: 403
8. Damien Johnson: 461
7. Trish Bertrand: 485
6. Lance Lenau: 500
5. Daniel Seymour: 567
4. Rita Yencarelli: 620
3. Jeff Mizanskey: 1,281
2. Paula Prentice: 1,317
1. Jennifer Shockley: 1,825
Combined, these petitioners accounted for nearly 8,000 signatures or more than 60 percent of the signatures collected last month! Help them continue their dedicated work by making a contribution of $10, $25, $50 or more now.
Our paid signature gathering campaign to place medical cannabis on the Missouri ballot will begin within the week, but that doesn't mean that our volunteers have slowed down at all. In fact, it appears that we just had our best week of signature collection yet!
That success can largely be attributed to the outstanding performance of volunteers in Kansas City at the Santa Cali Gon Days Festival this past weekend. When I last talked to lead KC Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Shockley, she was still counting the signatures, but she estimated the total from the event to be around 3,500!
Combined with the rest of the signatures from across the state, that will place the total for the week well above 5,000 signatures!
That is the sort of pace we hope to keep heading into the fall and the big push to finish out the petition drive. But we can't do it without your help. Can you contribute $10, $20, $50, or more now to maintain that momentum?
I just ordered 20,000 more petitions to get the paid petitioners started and restock our volunteers. That alone will cost nearly $6,500. You can help cover those costs by making a contribution now!
As of late last week, we have officially raised more than $250k to place medical cannabis on the Missouri ballot in 2018! Because we hit that benchmark, we received $100k from Drug Policy Action, which is the political arm of the Drug Policy Alliance. In addition, New Approach PAC, an independent political action committee, is separately spending $100k in support of the initiative.
Accordingly, we will be able to begin paid signature collection imminently, and we intend to conclude the paid drive by early in the New Year -- well in advance of our May 6 deadline to submit signatures. However, to complete the petition drive, we will need to raise hundreds of thousands more and do it very quickly, as the cost of paid petitioning dramatically increases as more petitioner crews are staffed, trained, and hit the streets.
To that end, we hope to raise $15k online by the end of September. Help kick the petition drive into high gear and keep it there by contributing $15, $25, $50, or $100 now!
The total for July was down from previous months, with just over 8,000 signatures turned in. I think that was largely driven by the record breaking heat near the end of the month, which made it not only difficult, but in some cases even dangerous to be outside collecting signatures for very long. So far August has proven far more mild, and we hope that trend will continue, so our volunteers can spend more time in the field.
These volunteers work week after week to give every Missourian the chance to vote on medical cannabis, but they can't get there on their own. Will you support them and our effort to bring medical cannabis to Missouri by contributing $10, $25, or $50 now?
We want to give special acknowledgement to the ten outstanding volunteers who gathered the most signatures in July. A quick glance at the leaders indicate that the team in Springfield, led by Trish and Daryl Bertrand, did very well at the Ozark Empire Fair!
10. Kyle Kisner: 179
9. Jennifer Shockley: 222
8. Eva Petakovic: 223
7. Sarah Lango: 258
6. Lance Lenau: 273
5. Rita Yenarelli: 286
4. Damien Johnson: 588
3. Laird Wilcox: 771
2. Daryl Bertrand: 838
1. Trish Bertrand: 1,046
Combined, these petitioners accounted for more than half of the signatures collected last month! Help them continue their dedicated work by making a contribution of $10, $25, $50 or more now.
I am still counting the signatures being sent in from across the state from the month of July, but I had to stop counting to let you know that we now officially have more than 50,000 signatures in hand! To put that number in perspective, we did not reach 50,000 signatures during the 2016 campaign until March 2016 with only two months left until the submission deadline, instead of the nine months left currently.
(Picture: Vietnam Veteran Jimmie signs the NAM petition at Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, MO)
Our volunteers have placed the campaign in an excellent position to qualify for the ballot and pass medical cannabis in Missouri in 2018! You can support their efforts by contributing now!
However, what hurt us in 2016 was not the total number of signatures -- it was too few signatures in one particular congressional district. To prevent that, we need timely information such as how many valid signatures there are in each district, which petitioners are getting the highest proportion of valid signatures, and who could use some pointers to improve their validity rate.
That is why in the next few weeks, we will contract with a professional petitioning firm, not only to dramatically expand our capacity to collect signatures, but to check each and every volunteer signature we have against the voter file. That will help us make decisions about where to send our petitioners and ensure an efficient distribution of valid signatures across the priority congressional districts.