Bill To Legalize Marijuana In Wyoming May Appear on 2016 Ballot

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CHEYENNE, WY - The Secretary of State’s office has certified the application for a ballot initiative, The Peggy A. Kelley Wyoming Cannabis Act of 2016, to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

The first step of a ballot initiative of any nature requires certification from the office of Secretary of State for compliance with the application process. "The Secretary of State must remain neutral on the merits of the issue presented by the applicant," stated Secretary of State Ed Murray.

“Our office reviewed the application and proposed bill submitted by the committee of applicants and determined that it meets the requirements of the law,” said Secretary Murray.

Certification of the application authorizes supporters of the initiative, Wyoming National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, to circulate petitions requesting that the bill be placed on the ballot at a general election.

"Now it will be up to the committee to attempt to find sufficient signatures to allow the initiative to be placed on the ballot," Murray stated.

In order for the measure to appear on the November 2016 general election ballot, supporters must submit the signatures of 25,673 registered voters to the Secretary of State’s Office before the Wyoming Legislature convenes on February 8, 2016. The required number of signatures is equal to 15% of those voting in the 2014 general election and signatures come from at least 15% of voters in at least 16 Wyoming counties.

State Election Director Peggy Nighswonger explained that petitions will not be printed until the Secretary of State’s Office has prepared an estimate and explanation of the proposed bill’s fiscal impact to the state and drafted a summary statement of the bill. Once printed, petitions are handed over to the committee sponsoring the initiative for circulation. The proposed bill, summary statement and estimated fiscal impact will be posted on the Secretary’s website.