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Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaign Issues Statement After Signature Determination

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portland maine marijuana legalizationThe Maine Secretary of State’s Office announced Wednesday that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine did not qualify for the November ballot.

61,123 signatures of registered Maine voters were required, and state officials determined that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 51,543 valid signatures. Based on a document the Secretary of State’s Office provided to the campaign, it appears that more than 17,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters were not included in the count because the signature of an individual notary did not match the signature the state has on file for that notary. The notary’s commission is current, according to state records.

Statement from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:

“We are very disappointed by the Secretary of State’s determination. Based on documents they have provided, it appears that more than 17,000 valid signatures from registered Maine voters were excluded from the count because the signature of a single notary — whose notary commission has not expired — did not exactly match the signature the state has on file for that notary. We are exploring all legal means available to appeal this determination, and we sincerely hope that 17,000-plus Maine citizens will not be disenfranchised due to a handwriting technicality.”

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Source: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMaine.org.

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  • shane

    Politics at its finest right here. Its a shame how they will act so desperate to keep locking people up and ruining lives over cannabis while the pharmaceutical companies literally get away with murder!

  • peoriadude

    Maine Secretary of State is Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat. FYI, so no one ever votes for this democracy-thwarting, control freak nanny again.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      duly noted

  • jontomas

    The great thing about marijuana reform is, first you lose, then you learn, than you come back and win.

    • Simba

      this bill had many flaws, including the fact that it would only allow around 100 licensend growers at maximum. now the people of maine have an opportunity to do it right.

      • myconaut

        Your friends at Project SAM are cheering right along with you. I hope you’re happy about all of the pot-related arrests and incarcerations that will happen, and all of the lives that will be ruined, due to the failure of this measure to qualify for the ballot. But there’s always “next time” (i.e., never).

        • Simba

          this bill would do nothing to help anyone charged with cannabis crimes currently in Maine and would not have legalized their conduct. this initiative was relabeled prohibition and their signatures were thrown out for forgery.

    • Unfortunately you’re right. Never underestimate the dedication of a zealot who believes he is on a mission from God. Smoke-em while you got-em.

  • Ivy

    It’s not a handwriting technicality. Notaries are required to always use the signature on file with the state. Its the law in many states. The notary knows this. The notary clearly didn’t do his job properly. Here’s an example of what happens. A new notary signs his commission application with is full name, James Bernard Doe Smith, III. He quickly realizes, as a notary, signing his name full out liek that all day long is painful. So, many will simply shorten it to some variation of their first and middles names or initials and their last names. So in this case, after a year, he starts signing everything J Smith. This becomes a problem, big time, for the state, for a variety of reasons. First, it makes it so they cannot verify his signature on documents. It can impact petitions like this, but also documents going internationally the require apostille verification of the public official’s signature. In most states, when one becomes a notary, they are told that whatever signature they use on the application or oath of office form is THE signature they must always use for the length of their term. Some don’t pay attention to this, or have never had it blow back on them as it did in this case. This is a failure on the notary’s part, not the state. I’m not sure what, if any recourse, is available… but you should be aware the notaries in Maine carry a bond against stuff like this. Some might even carry Errors and Omissions insurance. Now, would it apply to this? I don’t know. You’d have to contact the bond issuer or the Maine Secretary of State’s office and ask them about filing a claim against the notary’s bond. If, of course, there is an actual claim. If you can prove that this failed as a direct result of that notary’s failure to do his job properly, it’s always possible. I’d probably ask a lawyer.