Pro-marijuana group loses challenge over access to ballot

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group trying to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Michigan has failed to persuade a judge to put the question on the fall ballot.

Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello said Tuesday there’s nothing unconstitutional about a time limit on petition signatures.

A group called the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee submitted 354,000 signatures, apparently enough to get marijuana on the ballot. But the Board of State Canvassers in June said more than 200,000 were collected outside a 180-day period, a decision that left the group short of enough names.

The judge says the secretary of state’s office and other defendants “have no clear legal duty” to count the stale signatures.

Appeals are planned, possibly all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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