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Politics & Government

Republican legislature seeks to influence ballot measures in lame duck session

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
/
Voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008.

The midterm election might not be the final word on the ballot initiatives that were passed.

Republicans in the state Legislature are trying to reshape some of the measures.

While not a direct change to the redistricting measure, one bill would add restrictions and definitions to the initiative. For example, it would prohibit anyone who is a member of a political party from providing any service to the commission.

Katie Fahey is the leader of the group behind the ballot measure. She says the timing of these bills is a problem.

“If they are trying to pass this for the right reason, then do so next year with people who are elected but also when people can come and have full hearings and talk about the change themselves,” she says.

Part of the bill would fine people who apply for the commission and provide false information about their party affiliation.

Another bill would change the measure that legalizes recreational marijuana. It’s set to go into effect next week. The measure lets people grow up to twelve plants in their home.

But Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says no one should grow recreational marijuana in their homes, and he introduced a bill to prevent it.

“You can have the argument whether you think it’s criminalized, not criminalized. But at the end of the day it should be in some regulated form so that we have consistency,” he says.

The measure would have to be adopted by a three-fourths majority each in the House and Senate. Opponents say the move isn’t democracy. They say the voters approved the measure – as is.

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