There has been a great deal of confidence this year that Michigan was on its way to becoming the first state to eliminate the scourge of prohibition in the Midwest, however, the organization responsible for coming out guns a blazing towards the issue for the past several months has discovered that its attempt to put a recreational marijuana ballot measure in front of the voting public this November will likely go up in flames

A story from the Detroit News shows that a Michigan judge has dismissed a lawsuit presented by  who intended to get the majority of its petitions reinstated. The organization recently presented more than enough names to qualify for a place on the ballot later this fall, though a new law defining the state’s 180-day window for signature-collecting campaigns seems to have destroyed the bulk of the work behind the group’s plan.

Judge Stephen Borrello with the Michigan Court of Claims stated that the lawsuit filed by the people of MILegalize did not hold any value because the state was not obligated to give any thought to the 200,000 signatures the group collected outside of the 180-day time frame.

Highlighting a 30-year-old example handed down by the Michigan Supreme Court, Borello stated, “The purity of elections is an important state interest that is furthered by the rebuttable presumption that signatures more than 180 days old are stale and void.” Although, the judge’s dismissal may have been a bit careless, especially considering that the 180-day rule was not exactly unambiguous at the time the group was busy obtaining signatures.

It was only after the state legislature put a rush job on a bill a few months ago which was meant to close up a loophole in the signature collecting process that this situation spiraled into a major problem. It is for that purpose that MILegalize is still not willing to lie down and politely accept defeat. According to the Detroit Free Press, MILegalize is planning to file an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court in a last-ditch effort to keep its ballot measure alive and kicking into the November election.

While this battle from the bottom is commendable and, by all accounts, necessary to keep a set of hands on the neck of the state government, there does not appear to be much promise that MILegalize will successfully manage to get the job done in 2016.

That’s because there are only about two more weeks left before city clerks finalize the state’s absentee ballots and get them printed before mailing them out toward the end of September. It seems more probable that MILegalize will retool its campaign and concentrate on getting the issue of legal marijuana in front of the voters in 2018.


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