February 8th marked the deadline for initiatives to be placed on the 2016 General Election ballot. Commenting on the initiative deadline, Secretary of State Ed Murray stated: “The Committee of Applicants who represent The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Wyoming Chapter (NORML) failed to submit the 25,673 signatures required for the placement of the ‘The Peggy A. Kelley Wyoming Cannabis Act of 2016’ onto the 2016 General Election ballot.”
The initiative may still be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot. Per W.S. 22-24-315(b), the petition has a life cycle of 18 months. Signatures can continue to be collected by NORML until February 14th, 2017. That is the last possible date for the organizers of the initiative to file with the Office of the Secretary of State in order for Wyoming NORML to meet the 18 month deadline.
To be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot, the same requirements for the signatures gathered must be met. This number of signatures must equal at least 15% of the total number of votes cast in the statewide 2014 General Election. For this initiative that number is still 25,673. Additionally, those same signatures must be obtained proportionally from 15% of resident voters in at least 16 of Wyoming’s 23 counties. These initiative requirements are set by the Constitution of the State of Wyoming.