Nic Redhead

Michigan Ballot Initiative Stalled Over ‘Old’ Signatures

The ballot drive to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan is at least 106,000 signatures short, according to the state elections bureau, who have ruled 137,000 signatures are older than 180 days, Wood TV 8 reports.

The fate of the initiative, led by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, now rests with the Board of State Canvassers who will meet on Thursday to consider including those signatures, but the matter could end up in court. Another group gathering signatures in Michigan to prohibit fracking has already sued the state over the 180-day window, calling it unconstitutional. There is currently legislation on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk that would codify the 180-day timeframe for a petition signature to be considered valid.    

According to the activist group’s website, they collected “probably” over 375,000 signatures of the 252,523 required to get the measure on the November ballot. The group filed 354,000 signatures to the elections bureau on July 1.

Recreational cannabis supporters in Maine faced a similar roadblock in their efforts when Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap blocked the initiative in March over signatures that were obtained outside of the 180-day window. In April, however, a state judge ruled that Dunlap “committed an error of law by applying a vague, subjective and/or unduly burdensome interpretation” of the law regarding petition signatures.

Arizona, California, Massachusetts and Nevada are expected to have legalization initiatives on the fall ballot.  

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