UPDATE II: City communications director David Vossbrink provided the following statement and numbers on why the referendum efforts failed:
"On Friday, July 18, the City Clerk's Office accepted referendum petitions against Ordinances 29420 and 29421. Today, City Clerk staff completed a prima facie review with the following results:
- Referendum on Ordinance 29420: Total raw signatures: 21,713. Total needed: 33,262. Difference -11,549
- Referendum on Ordinance 29421: Total raw signatures: 22,866. Total needed: 33,262. Difference : -10,396"
UPDATE: City communications director David Vossbrink told San Jose Inside in an email Monday afternoon that the city clerk's office did not receive enough signatures on either petition to send to the county Registrar of Voters.
Opponents of San Jose's ordinance on medical marijuana collectives made good on their pledge to try and overturn some of the city's new rules. According to an email sent out Friday by City Clerk Toni Taber, petitions for a referendum were received at exactly 4:20pm.
The process of validating signatures was scheduled to begin this morning. At least 33,262 valid signatures are required to move forward with the referendums. One referendum is aimed at changing the city's restrictions on how and where collectives can do business, and the other targets a database of patients' records.
This is the second time in three years the city has faced a challenge to pot club regulation, after the council decided to scrap a plan in late 2011.
The significance of the number 4:20, whether it be the date April 20 or the time of day, is a topic of casual to conspiratorial debate in cannabis circles.
In her email, which appears to have been received by the City Council and top city staff, Taber explains how the process to verify signatures will work.
"At 4:20 p.m., the proponents of the referendum petitions against Ordinance 29420 and Ordinance 29421, Marijuana Regulations, submitted their signed petitions," Taber wrote.
"I accepted those petitions, sealed the boxes and asked the proponents to sign the seals. At 8:00am on Monday, July 21, City Clerk staff will open the boxes and begin the prima facie count. The public and proponents are welcome to attend and verify the seals are unbroken.
"In accordance with San Jose City Charter section 1603, it has been determined that the County Clerk’s last official report of registration to the Secretary of State was 415,778 registered voters and that 8 percent of said registration would require 33,262 valid signatures to qualify the referendum petition. The prima facie count scheduled for July 21, 2014 will determine if, in accordance with Election Code Section 9240, that said petition contains sufficient signatures in order to qualify for filing. Should the prima facie review determine there are sufficient signatures, we will submit the petitions to the Registrar of Voters for a random sample verification. The Random Sample verification may take up to 30 business days to complete. If the petition is found to be insufficient, no action shall be taken on the petition. If the petition is found to be sufficient, I will certify the results to the City Council at the next regular meeting after receiving the verification from the Registrar of Voters."