The Colorado secretary of state Friday informed the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol that its signature-gathering drive to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot had fallen just short. But that's not the end of the effort -- the campaign has 15 days to collect enough valid signatures to cover the shortfall, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000.
The campaign had handed in more than 159,000, nearly twice the 86,000 valid signatures required to make the ballot. But the secretary of state's review of the signatures found an unusually high number of invalid ones, leaving the campaign just short.
The campaign said Friday it was confident it could get the required signatures. "Given that we collected an average of 3,000 valid signatures per week during the first six months of the petition drive, we are confident we will complete this process successfully," it said. "In fact, we intentionally started the initiative process early to ensure we would have this curing period if necessary."
The initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and six pot plants for people 21 and over. It would also create a regulated legal framework for commercial marijuana operations, including retail sales.
A marijuana legalization initiative has qualified for the November ballot in Washington state. Efforts are in the signature-gathering phase in California, Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon.