- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Latest on a referendum proposal to legalize marijuana in Maine (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says supporters of a referendum proposal to legalize marijuana have cleared the hurdle to appear on the November ballot.

Dunlap said Wednesday election officials have certified an additional 11,305 signatures. That brings the number over the threshold of 61,123 valid signatures.

Now the referendum initiative will go to lawmakers, who can either enact the proposal into law or send it to voters.

Dunlap’s announcement came after Maine’s chief justice removed a legal hurdle to allow the review of petitions to continue.

The latest review was ordered after a judge set aside Dunlap’s decision to reject thousands of signatures because the notary’s signature didn’t match the signature on file in Augusta.

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10:50 a.m.

The Maine Supreme Court has removed a hurdle to the completion of a review of petitions supporting a referendum proposal to legalize marijuana.

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley on Wednesday denied an individual’s request to intervene that had put the review on hold. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap had said he wants to have the review completed before lawmakers reconvene on Friday.

The review was ordered after a judge rejected Dunlap’s decision to reject thousands of signatures because the notary’s signature didn’t match the signature on file in Augusta.

Those who support legalizing marijuana need at least 61,123 valid signatures.

If activists reach the threshold, then the proposal would be considered by lawmakers and sent to the November ballot. If not, there would likely be further legal action.

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