Missouri MMJ campaign loses fight for ballot spot

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A Missouri judge has ruled against a medical marijuana legalization campaign, effectively ending its chances to get a pro-MMJ ballot question before voters this November.

A technicality brought the campaign’s chances to a close this year.

The weekly Riverfront Times reported Tuesday afternoon that Judge Daniel Green “ruled that the Missouri Secretary of State and local election authorities had acted properly when they invalidated hundreds of petition signatures that had been collected on the wrong county form.”

The Kansas City Star further reported that a spokesman for New Approach Missouri, the group behind the ballot measure, acknowledged the defeat.

“We will simply not have enough time to successfully appeal before the upcoming Sept. 27 ballot access deadline,” New Approach spokesman Jack Cardetti told the paper.

Cardetti vowed, however, that the campaign will continue to advocate for MMJ legalization.

“While delayed, our work is not yet done,” Cardetti said, but didn’t clarify whether the group would focus on the 2018 election cycle or lobbying the state legislature to expand its CBD law.

Missouri was the last statewide campaign that had a chance to qualify for the 2016 November election. It looks now like the election roster is set, with adult use on the ballot in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, and medical on the ballot in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota.