Paul Sableman

Missouri County Prosecutor Files Injunction to Prevent Certification of Cannabis Ballot Initiatives

Cole County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney Mark Richardson has filed an injunction seeking to prohibit Secretary of State Jason Kander from certifying voter initiatives that would legalize cannabis, the St. Louis Dispatch reports.

The petition cites 15 legalization proposals for 2018 already sent to the Secretary of State’s Office, which Richardson argues are unconstitutional because they contradict federal drug laws. The injunction would have a judge throw out the legalization initiative proposals as unconstitutional, claiming Kander’s actions accepting cannabis-related measures “pose an immediate threat to the constitutional and initiative petition process.”

Efforts to legalize medicinal cannabis in the state fell short during the last election when Kander’s office threw out more than 10,000 signatures collected in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, leaving the campaign, backed by New Approach Missouri, 2,242 signatures short of the 2,337 goal in the district. Advocates sued Kander, and in the lawsuit a Cole County Circuit Court judge ruled that 2,242 signatures were valid, but that still left the campaign 23 votes short.

Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for New Approach Missouri, called Richardson’s lawsuit “an incredible waste of public resources,” noting that state courts have long maintained that lawsuits brought this early in the petition process aren’t legitimate and have opted to decide legal questions after voters weigh in.

The 15 proposals already filed with Kander’s office are already open to public comment.

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