Maine Judge Gives Rec Initiative New Life

A Superior Court judge has sided with a campaign to legalize recreational cannabis in Maine over the secretary of state, and ruled that more than 26,000 signatures in support of a legalization ballot measure were improperly tossed out.

The ruling gives Secretary of State Matt Dunlap another three days to consider the roughly 5,000 petitions that were invalidated without due process.

Justice Michaela Murphy ruled that Dunlap’s office “committed an error of law by applying a vague, subjective and/or unduly burdensome interpretation” of the law, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supported by the Marijuana Policy Project, collected more than 100,000 signatures to get to the 61,123 threshold necessary to make the ballot, but Dunlap’s office ruled that only about 51,000 were valid, including about 17,000 signatures that were tossed due to a discrepancy with the signature of a single notary.

The campaign sued, and Murphy agreed with them.

Dunlap said in a statement that his office is reviewing its options, according to the Bangor Daily News.

David Boyer, campaign manager for the rec initiative, said in a statement, “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.”