Marijuana foes call for investigation of failed petition drive

Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine, which is a leading voice against the legalization of marijuana here, has called on Attorney General Janet Mills to investigate the failed signature-gathering process to legalize recreational marijuana.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap on Wednesday announced that his office could not validate some 48,000 of nearly 100,000 signatures submitted by a coalition led by the Marijuana Policy Project.

On Thursday, SAM Maine said it wants to know why.

“As new reporting comes out on why almost half of the collected signatures were deemed to be invalid, SAM Maine believes the Office of the Attorney General should launch an immediate and thorough investigation of the signature gathering operation of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol,” said SAM director Scott Gagnon in a written statement. “SAM Maine strongly supports Maine’s citizen’s referendum process, however, we also strongly believe that the integrity of the process must be protected.”

Proponents of legalized marijuana in Maine said Wednesday that they intend to appeal the secretary of state’s decision and by law have 10 days to do so. That would put the decision in the hands of the Maine Superior Court system.

Tim Feeley, a spokesman for Attorney General Janet Mills, said Thursday morning that Mills has no comment about the request.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.