Carson City, NV: Nevada election officials said yesterday that an initiative seeking to eliminate criminal and civil penalties on the possession of small amounts of marijuana failed to qualify for the November ballot because proponents did not collect enough valid signatures, according to the Associated Press.
The proposed initiative, entitled the Regulation of Marijuana Amendment, sought to remove penalties for “the use or possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by a person who has attained the age of 21 years,” and direct the state legislature to “provide by law for a system of regulation for the cultivation, distribution, sale, and taxation of marijuana.” The measure also would have increased criminal penalties for certain marijuana-related offenses, such as distributing marijuana to a minor and/or operating a motor vehicle impaired by cannabis.
According to the AP, Secretary of State Dean Heller determined that only 34,947 of the signatures collected by the initiative¹s proponents were valid. It needed 51,337 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.
Nearly 20,000 petitions in favor of the measure were rejected by election officials because they lacked an affidavit signed by a registered voter, as well as from the person gathering the signatures, as required by the Nevada constitution. That constitutional requirement is now being challenged in court by the AFL-CIO of Nevada.
If the AFL-CIO challenge is successful, proponents of the marijuana measure may be entitled to a full recount, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
A similar statewide initiative to liberalize penalties on the possession of marijuana for personal use will appear on the Alaska electoral ballot this November.