A group of cannabis enthusiasts tried extremely hard to collect signatures so that they voters in Michigan will be able to decide whether or not they would like to legalize marijuana. They collected for six months, but according to state elections officials, it was not enough. The Bureau of Elections said in a report that the Board of State Canvassers ought to turn down the MI Legalize petition.

The group, which was led by pot enthusiasts, was able to collect about 354,000 signatures, but they only required 252,523 to make it onto the ballot. Why didn’t it pass? Well, because the bureau said only 146,413 were collected within the six-month window. According to state law, signatures collected outside of this frame would be considered “stale and void.”

Looking over petition signatures can typically take the bureau at least two months. However, Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams states that the finding of older signatures made the process much quicker since it would have otherwise just been a test on whether or not the signatures were valid.

The quick review might actually be a good thing for MI Legalize, executive director Jeff Hank says. He says that the 180-day window is not constitutional and makes collecting signatures extremely difficult.

“The only way we’re probably going to rectify this is through litigation, and the fact that the Bureau has made this decision in a timely fashion gives us enough time to litigate,” Hank argues. “We’re going to fight for the rights of every Michigan voter and make sure we get this on the ballot.”

Governor Rick Snyder approved a new on Tuesday setting the 180-day collection window.

“Establishing reasonable time limits on when signatures can be collected helps ensure the issues that make the ballot are the ones that matter most to Michiganders,” Snyder reported.


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