MA: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says it’s collected more than 100,000 signatures
By Gintautas Dumcius
November 9, 2015
BOSTON – The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, one of two groups attempting to place an initiative legalizing marijuana on the 2016 ballot, said Monday its gathered more than 100,000 signatures in support.
Groups seeking to place an initiative on the statewide ballot must gather at least 64,750 signatures from registered voters in Massachusetts. Campaigns often gather more signatures than necessary, anticipating that some may be deemed invalid.
Campaigns often pay companies and individuals to gather the signatures for them.
The signatures must be filed with local elections officials by late November, and then sent to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office by the first Wednesday in December.
If they gather enough valid signatures, the initiative is then sent to the Legislature, and if the Legislature doesn’t act to approve the measure, activists can go out and gather an additional 10,800 signatures in order to get on the ballot.
“It should not be a crime for adults to engage in the responsible consumption of a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” Will Luzier, manager of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in a statement. “Police have far more pressing things to worry about than issuing citations to every adult they find in possession of a small amount of marijuana.”
A competing marijuana legalization group, Bay State Repeal, has also been gathering signatures. Bay State Repeal has argued their proposal has fewer regulatory restrictions.
Massachusetts voters chose to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in 2008 and legalized medical marijuana in 2012.
Voters could also decide whether to lift a cap on charter schools in Massachusetts. Great Schools Massachusetts, the backers of that initiative, said in October they had gathered 100,000 signatures for their effort.