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Arizona Legalization Initiative Faces New Challenge

Arizona’s legalization initiative is being challenged over whether or not the wording of the measure is legally flawed, which would disqualify it from appearing on the November ballot, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Brett Johnson, an attorney representing the challengers, contends that voters who signed petitions were misled by advocates who claimed the plan would regulate marijuana like alcohol. He points out two provisions proving the cannabis market would not be regulated in the same way as the alcohol industry; one pertaining to employers firing people suspected of being under the influence of marijuana; and another giving current medical dispensaries about 100 of the 150 available licenses.

Attorney Kory Langhofer, who represents the campaign, said that there are more similarities than differences between the market outlined in the initiative and alcohol.

“It’s legal with licenses and taxes and restrictions on where and when you can sell it, how you use it,” he said in the report.

Langhofer says Johnson’s claim that voters are being defrauded is false because the initiative backers were not trying to trick them. His opponents’ assertion that the licensing structure was not like the alcohol industry is “immaterial,” he said.

The matter will be heard by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry on Aug. 12. No matter what is decided in that hearing it is almost certain the losing party will seek a review by the Arizona Supreme Court.

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