EAST LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A marijuana legalization proposal will not appear on the ballot in East Lansing this November.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum announced the decision Wednesday, saying the late addition to the ballot would cost $16,000 and absentee ballots have already been mailed, the Lansing State Journal reported.

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“There is a process to get these things placed on the ballot, and this proposal has not met any of these deadlines,” Byrum said.

East Lansing attorney Jeffrey Hank is leading the initiative to repeal the city’s marijuana laws and allow the use, possession and transfer of up to one ounce of the drug by people ages 21 and older.

Hank, who is protesting Byrum’s decision, told WWJ he submitted more than the necessary number of signatures on July 29. When city officials said they would place the issue on the November 2015 ballot, Hank sued, arguing the issue should go before voters sooner.

A Circuit Court judge on Monday ordered the city clerk to take the necessary measures to ensure the issue appeared before voters, but did not specify what ballot it needed to appear on.

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Hank said waiting more than a year for a vote on the issue would disenfranchise residents.

“In 11 other cities across the state, citizens with pro-constituent city clerks will be voting on this same issue,” Hank told the Lansing State Journal. “Only in East Lansing was democracy denied. We cannot allow such oppressive and anti-democratic behavior to be tolerated in our forward-thinking and progressive community.”

The mayor and city council members are expected to hold an executive session next week to discuss the issue.

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