Lawsuit targeting recreational marijuana

 On Friday, Cole County judge dismissed a the lawsuit that pursued to terminate a recreational marijuana criterion from the Nov. 8 poll.

If agreed by voters, the proposed constitutional amendment would authorize people from the age of 21 and geriatric to purchase and cultivate marijuana for personal consumption.

Jefferson City resident Joy Sweeney sued last month after Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft authorized the initiative plea for the ballot despite initial results from counties showing canvassers had ceased to function to accumulate sufficiently valid signatures in the 6th and 7th congressional districts.

Attorneys for Sweeney, who works for the Community Anti-Drugs Coalition of America argued Ashcroft’s uncommon assessment of signatures heeding reference with the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign was external the leaps of a state ordinance.

Cole County Circuit Judge Cotton Walker dismissed the case, declaring Sweeney didn’t have the standing to sue after attorneys for Ashcroft and Legal Missouri inquired of her possession at trial on Thursday.

Read more, Officials seize marijuana plants near Junction City

Walker went on to say that Ashcroft pretended within his administration when his office reviewed requisitions and validated signatures of registered voters that county officials had invalidated.

“The Secretary retains the ultimate authority as to whether the petition is sufficient,” Walker said.

“Regardless of whether you’re for or against the issue,” Ashcroft said in a statement after the ruling, “my office responded efficiently and suitably to the thousands of signatures turned in.

“We did the right thing in certifying this measure to the ballot within the bounds of the constitution and the laws passed by the General Assembly,” he said. “We followed the law — we did everything right.”

Walker also dismissed arguments by Sweeney’s attorneys that the 39-page petition, which also contains expungement provisions, ran afoul of the state constitution by containing too many subjects.

Read more, The driver is charged when police in Akron finds more than 1,800 grams of marijuana

Luke Niforatos, CEO of anti-drug group Protect Our Kids, which supported the lawsuit, said the group was “extremely disappointed” in Walker and had already submitted a motion to appeal the judgment Friday.

Niforatos also said the secretary of state’s office “slow-walked” the release of information that would’ve allowed opponents to examine the petitions for invalid signatures.

John Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri, said the decision brought Missouri closer to joining the 19 other states where adult-use marijuana is currently legal.

“We are thrilled that Missourians will have the opportunity to pass Amendment 3 in November, which will allow law enforcement to better focus on violent crime, while bringing millions in new revenue to Missouri,” he said in an email.

 

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