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Massachusetts Legalization Campaign Submits Excess of Signatures

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than 25,000 signatures to Massachusetts officials on Tuesday, far surpassing the 10,792 required to add a recreational marijuana proposal to November ballots, the Associated Press reports.

Under the plan, people 21-years-old or older would be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. Retail sales would carry a 3.75 percent excise tax, on top of the current 6.35 percent sales tax.

Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the organization, indicated that the signatures were submitted to officials well before the deadline, clearing one of the hurdles used by regulators to invalidate petitions. Having more than double the required signatures will also help to ensure they can cover any signatures are disqualified for various reasons, such as being ruled ‘stale’ – an issue advocates in Michigan are currently battling.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healy, and Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh have been outspoken opponents of legalizing marijuana in the state, calling it a “gateway drug” while the state is grappling with an opioid crisis.

A lawsuit that claims voters who signed the petitions were not told the marijuana products may contain “potent” levels of THC has not yet been ruled on by the Supreme Judicial Court.     

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