A lawsuit seeking to overturn an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis that would allow sales of marijuana to adults 21 and older was filed Friday in Cole County Circuit Court, reported Missouri Independent.
The latest push from prohibitionists to remove the legalization question from the ballot is supported by the Colorado-based Protect Our Kids PAC. Luke Niforatos, the group’s CEO, said that the initiative petition is “a scam,” adding he hopes that “courts will rule on this issue expeditiously and spare Missouri’s children from targeting by Big Marijuana.”
Filed on behalf of Joy Sweeney, a local anti-legalization activist, the lawsuit argues that it was improperly certified by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft earlier this month. That move formally placed the initiative from Legal Missouri 2022 on the November ballot. The legal action was taken within ten days after the certification was made.
The suit claims the measure's language is not in accordance with the state Constitution, citing a violation of single-subject rules and that the initiative lacked sufficient signatures to be placed before voters.
John Payne, Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager said earlier they turned in “nearly 400,000 signatures from Missourians who want to become the 20th state to regulate, tax, and legalize cannabis.”
However, prohibitionists have built a case around the strategy from cannabis activists that allowed the initiative to make a comeback. In late July, unofficial figures showed that the campaign was 2,275 signatures short of the threshold needed to get on the ballot. The campaign then asked Ashcroft to conduct its own review of signatures, as opposed to waiting for certification and turning to the courts.
Experts Say Final Outcome Was Correct
Nevertheless, those familiar with the initiative petition process say that the final outcome was correct.
“I think the correct outcome was reached in qualifying (the marijuana petition), but we still don’t have a clear picture of what went wrong in the early counts and how it was addressed,” Sean Nicholson, who has worked on numerous initiative petition campaigns told Missouri Independent.
Senator Urges Missourians To Think Carefully
Meanwhile, state senator Dan Hegeman of Cosby is urging Missourians to “think carefully” when deciding on the issue this fall, reported KTTN News.
Hegeman says he's concerned that the state’s move to put the marijuana legalization question on the ballot is a move made to “appease some people” who are seeking to change the law because they believe the time is right.
Photo: Courtesy of Ramdlon, ganjaspliffstoreuk by Pixabay
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