Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Maine cannabis initiative OK'd for 2016 ballot

It's official: Maine will decide on marijuana legalization in 2016 - David Sharp, Associated Press:

April 28, 2016 - "A referendum proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine has met the threshold to appear on the November ballot, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Wednesday.

"The announcement means the citizen initiative will be forwarded Friday to state lawmakers, who can either enact it now or put it before voters in the fall....

"The measure would legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 and older, allowing them to possess up to 2.5 ounces. It also would regulate and tax marijuana. Maine already legalized marijuana for medical use in 1999.

"Earlier Wednesday, Maine’s chief justice removed a legal hurdle to allow the review of referendum petitions to resume.

"Election officials certified an additional 11,305 signatures, enough to surpass the necessary 61,123 signatures of registered voters.... The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol originally submitted 99,229 signatures on Feb. 1, but only 51,543 of the signatures were deemed to be valid.

"A review was ordered after a judge set aside Dunlap’s decision to reject thousands of signatures because the notary’s signature didn’t match the signature on file in Augusta.

"The review resumed Wednesday after Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley denied an individual’s request to intervene that had stalled the process.

"Dunlap said Wednesday that seven circulators whose petitions containing 11,305 signatures were originally invalidated have sworn under oath that they signed their petitions in front of notary Stavros Mendros.

"Maine will be one of several states considering marijuana legalization proposals. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., already have made recreational use of marijuana legal for adults."

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