Marijuana Legalization Campaign Challenges 180-Day Rule For Collecting Signatures

The lawsuit says the state constitution establishes a four-year window for collecting petition signatures.

Jake Neher/WDET

The campaign trying to legalize marijuana in Michigan has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s six-month time limit to gather petition signatures.

The MI Legalize drive is still trying to either get the Legislature to adopt a law or place the question on the November ballot after its petitions were rejected by a state elections board last week because too many signatures were too old under the 180-day rule. 

The leader of MI Legalize, attorney Jeff Hank, says what the state is doing is not allowed.

“There are clear violations of the First Amendment,” he said. “There are clear violations of Michigan’s constitution.”

The lawsuit says, under the state constitution, the time limit for collecting signatures is the four-year period between gubernatorial elections.

The 180-rule for collecting petition signatures has been in place since the 1980s. But Gov. Rick Snyder also signed a law last week to make clear that signatures more than six months old won’t be counted. The legal action also challenges that law.