By Steve Elliott
Voters won't get the chance this fall to have their say on whether the Washington should keep changes made by the Legislature this spring to the state's medical marijuana laws.
Organizers of a petition drive to place a referendum on November's ballot reported they won't be turning in signatures by the deadline this week.
"I regret to report that the Referendum 76 effort has fallen short of the number of signatures gathered to qualify for the November ballot," organizer Don Skakie posted on the R76 NO Facebook page on Tuesday. "This was made known to the Elections Office yesterday afternoon and has appeared in the press already.
"While things are bad for patients, the struggle continues," Skakie said. "Please support Real Legalization through Initiative 739 for home growing, collecting signatures through December 31, 2015."
The secretary of state's office on Monday confirmed that the referendum had fallen short, reports Jim Camden at The Spokesman-Review.
R-76 would have challenged changes in Washington's medical marijuana law, putting medicinal cannabis under the regulation of the Liquor Control Board, currently in charge of recreational marijuana industry.
Medical marijuana dispensaries and growers will have to be licensed; the Catch-22 is that no licenses are currently available, and the path to legality for the shops is murky at best.