While many states are standing in the way of marijuana legalization, they usually aren’t outright sabotaging efforts to do so. Even politicians who don’t support cannabis end up implementing the new laws if the voters want it. But some states will go to extreme lengths to prevent the voters’ will from becoming law.
Here are five states that outright sabotaged marijuana legalization efforts:
In 2016, it appeared that Missouri voters would be able to approve a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana. However, the Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and local election boards in the state threw out thousands of signatures as invalid, and killed the initiative.
A new initiative is collecting signatures in Missouri, and the group behind the effort says they plan to collect more than double the number that is required to prevent the same situation from occurring this year.
In 2016, Maine voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Throughout 2017, the state’s legislature worked on a proposal that would implement these laws and allow marijuana businesses. However, the state’s Governor Paul LePage vetoed the bill, and basically stated he would not sign any bill allowing recreational sales, despite the voters’ decision.
Luckily, LePage cannot run for re-election this fall and will be out of office next January. So the state’s next governor will probably implement the laws LePage refused to sign.
This June, Oklahoma voters will get the chance to approve a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana. However, the Oklahoma legislature has already passed a bill that would restrict the provisions of that initiative. So they’ve already taken steps to restrict the will of their voters.
A recreational marijuana ballot initiative is collecting signatures to possibly get a vote this November. We can’t imagine how the state government will sabotage that.
Last fall, an organization in South Dakota began collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. However, as they were collecting signatures, state officials said that the wording of the proposal would only legalize marijuana paraphernalia, not cannabis itself. The organization could’ve rewritten the initiative, but all their previous collected signatures would become void, and they’d have to start over. So they simply scrapped the effort and will try again in a later year.
Michigan is perhaps the worst offender when it comes to sabotaging marijuana laws. Michigan had a thriving medical marijuana industry for years until 2016, when the state government decided it wanted to start collecting more money off of it. In the past few months, the state has forced most medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan to shut down and re-apply for licenses. On top of that, the state is dragging its feet and not handing out the new licenses. So the state’s gone from a thriving medical marijuana industry to a dead one.
And Michigan voters will get a chance to approve a ballot initiative on recreational marijuana this November. We’re sure the state will handle that responsibly.