Judge Rejects Lawsuit – Marijuana Measure Will Be On Arizona Ballot


The marijuana legalization effort will appear on the November ballot, despite a legal battle mounted by opponents to get it tossed.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissed a lawsuit brought by 13 individuals and groups, including Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Republican Rep. Paul Boyer, a Tempe school board member, and others. She heard arguments on the case last week.

The measure, known as Proposition 205, asks Arizona voters to legalize cannabis for recreational use and establish licensed shops where sales of the drug would be taxed, similar to the system established in Colorado. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but the the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would allow adults 21 and older in Arizona to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes.

Foes of recreational marijuana argued in court last week that supporters of legalization are deceiving voters with their pitch of the measure. An attorney argued told the judge that a 100-word summary of the initiative failed to adequately summarize the measure’s effects on laws affecting motorists, child custody, the workplace and licensing of certain professions.

But in her decision, Gentry disagreed, writing: “In short, Plaintiffs demonstrated no ability to prepare a summary that would comply with the 100-word limit and with their objections. Plaintiffs, nonetheless, persist in asserting that omitting these provisions from the summary along with what they consider misstatements about the provisions that were included makes the summary fraudulent. Plaintiffs’ position is in essence that the summary should have more fully described what the initiative will do but do not explain how they could do it better. Instead, Plaintiffs simply argue that such a summary creates a risk of confusion and unfairness and threatens the integrity of the initiative process.”

An attorney for the measure argued opponents’ argues are being targeted solely because of opponents’ political and ideological views on marijuana legalization. The attorney also told the judge that opponents’ arguments were dismissive of the will of Arizona voters’ – and of their ability to research and determine the effects of the law based on the summary and the text of the initiative, which is publicly available.

Prop. 205 qualified earlier this month for the November ballot, but the anti-legalization campaign mounted the legal battle to try to get it tossed.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Judge Rejects Lawsuit – Marijuana Measure Will Be On Arizona Ballot
Author: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
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Photo Credit: AP
Website: The Arizona Republic