Maine recreational cannabis initiative certified for Nov. ballot

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Maine voters will get the opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana come November, after supporters of the proposed ballot measure overcame a technicality that had thrown its future into doubt.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced Wednesday that Maine’s secretary of state had reversed course and certified the rec initiative for the November ballot.

“We are thrilled to finally start transitioning into the more substantive phase of this campaign,” campaign manager David Boyer said in a statement.

Maine was widely expected to be an easy win for recreational cannabis advocates this fall, with one 2015 poll finding 65% support from voters for rec legalization.

Recreational legalization in Maine had stalled in early March after Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap invalidated roughly 52,000 signatures the campaign submitted in support of its initiative. The campaign sued, and earlier this month a judge ordered Dunlap to reconsider about 26,000 of those signatures, saying they were improperly invalidated.

Dunlap’s initial review found that 51,543 signatures were valid. But 61,123 were needed to make the ballot. Dunlap’s office said Wednesday that after the review it had found an additional 11,305 valid signatures, an ABC affiliate in Boston reported. That brings the total to 62,848, or just enough for the measure to go before voters.