Of the cannabis legalization’s projected definite things for 2016 was undoubtedly not exact last week since Maine voters were stripped of having the opportunity to vote on a recreational marijuana industry on November’s ballot.
The Secretary of State’s office in Maine showed on Wednesday that a ballot initiative put forth that would end the prohibition of marijuana did not have enough legitimate signatures to be considered for the ballot. It seems as though that as the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) presented 99,229 signatures in February, Maine claims that just 51,543 of them are legitimate. As a result, the initiative is 9,580 signatures away from being able to be considered for the ballot in November; the entire effort may now be in jeopardy.
But those who worked on this insist that the lack of qualifying signatures was not because of their lack of initiative but instead a technical error which they are finding ways to overcome. David Boyer, the campaign manager, stated that he was “very disappointed” in the Secretary of State for rejecting the measure because of a small technicality that gets rid of thousands of signatures.
“Based on documents they have provided, it appears that more than 17,000 valid signatures from registered Maine voters were excluded from the count because the signature of a single notary — whose notary commission has not expired — did not exactly match the signature the state has on file for that notary,” Boyer reported in an email. “We are exploring all legal means available to appeal this determination, and we sincerely hope that 17,000-plus Maine citizens will not be disenfranchised due to a handwriting technicality.”
The CRMLA’s initiative, which has spewed many debates and such, would have resulted in an entirely legal cannabis industry where those 21 or older would be allowed to purchase marijuana from dispensaries throughout Maine.
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