Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear MI Legalize Appeal

Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear MI Legalize Appeal

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It is unlikely that recreational marijuana will appear on the ballot in Michigan this November. According to The Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal filed by the group MI Legalize to put a initiative legalizing recreational marijuana on the November ballot.

Although the initiative garnered 354,000 signatures, surpassing the required 252,000 signatures required to qualify for the ballot, election officials declared the signatures “stale” because many of the signatures were older than 180 days.

Under state law, signatures for ballot initiatives must be no older than 180 days to qualify for the ballot.

A previous ruling from the Michigan Court of Claims had upheld the decision by election officials, forcing supporters of the measure to file a last ditch appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. Short on options, Jeffrey Hank, leader of MI Legalize, told The Detroit News that he plans to take this case to the highest court in the land.

“We’re going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Hank said. “This is bigger than marijuana. This is about every citizens’ right to participate in the (political) process.”

However, in order to obtain a satisfactory outcome, the Supreme Court would have to act with lightening speed to overturn state election laws, which is unlikely. Election officials are already prepared to proof and print ballots in the coming days, with ballots set to be mailed to military members overseas on Sept. 24.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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