Maine Judge Reverses State Decision to Keep Marijuana Legalization Off Ballot

The effort to legalize marijuana in Maine appears to be back from the dead.

On Friday, a judge reversed Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s decision to invalidate thousands of signatures needed to qualify a legalization initiative for the November ballot.

Last month Dunlap threw out thousands of signatures because, he said, the signatures of a single notary on the petitions did not match the one on file with the state.

As a result, the cannabis initiative did not have enough valid signatures to meet the threshold of 61,123 needed to qualify.

Advocates behind the initiative sued, asking the courts to overturn the decision.

Justice Michaela Murphy agreed, ruling that state officials did not actually review every petition in question. The Secretary of State’s office must now go back and review the disputed petitions.

“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision to send our initiative back to the secretary of state for re-review,” David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in a press release. “As was the case when we submitted our signatures to the secretary of state originally, we know that a sufficient number of registered voters signed the petition to qualify for the ballot. So this re-review should now be a mere formality. Once the Secretary of State’s Office has completed its work, we look forward to launching the formal part of our campaign and educating Maine voters about the benefits of regulating marijuana like alcohol.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

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Maine Judge Reverses State Decision to Keep Marijuana Legalization Off Ballot
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