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Lawsuit to Prevent the Legalization of Marijuana on Ballots is Dismissed by a Missouri judge

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

by Hunter Dublin | September 27, 2022

Per the Missouri Independent, a Cole County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge this week dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop the adult-use legalization question from appearing on November ballots. Joy Sweeney, an opponent of drug legalization who brought the complaint, was found to lack standing to sue by Judge Cotton Walker because she had not established her Missouri citizenship.

Walker further stated that if the case had gone to a jury, he would have found against Sweeney and supported the initiative petition's backers, Legal Missouri and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Walker concluded that the petition was legitimate because it solely addressed one issue, had a sufficient number of valid signatures, and had been "legally permitted" by Ashcroft's office.

The decision was described as "another step towards the historical success of this citizen-led initiative to regulate, tax, and legalize marijuana in Missouri" by John Payne, the campaign manager for Legal Missouri.

Payne stated, "We are happy that Missourians will have the chance to adopt Amendment 3 in November. This will enable law enforcement to focus better on violent crime while delivering millions in additional money to Missouri.

Protect Our Kids PAC, a super PAC located in Colorado that opposes cannabis legalization and is backing Sweeney's lawsuit, was "very disappointed" that the case had been dismissed based on an untrue technicality, according to Luke Niforatos, the group's CEO, after the decision.

Sweeney virtually attended the hearing from Virginia.


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