Michigan election officials: Marijuana legalization group short 106,000 signatures

Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to consider issue

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan's elections bureau says a ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreational use is at least 106,000 signatures short to qualify for a statewide vote in November.

The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee says 137,000 of its signatures are still valid despite being older than 180 days. But secretary of state staffers issued a report Tuesday saying the group's affidavit doesn't prove that those who signed it were registered to vote at the time.

The Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to consider the issue, which ultimately may be decided by the courts.

A group gathering signatures to prohibit the drilling process known as fracking has sued, saying the 180-day time limit is unconstitutional. Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed bills that set the firm 180-day window.

Senate Bill 776, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Robertson, establishes a 180-day deadline for collection of petition signatures for initiated legislation or constitutional amendments. The bill codifies what has been the existing practice for 30 years. It is now Public Act 142 of 2016. 

“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 said.   

Marijuana Legality by State | InsideGov