Missouri Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking to Block Cannabis Legalization Question from Ballots

A Missouri judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block a cannabis legalization question from appearing on the state’s November ballots.

Full story after the jump.

A Cole County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge last week dismissed a lawsuit that sought to prevent the adult-use legalization question from appearing on November ballots, the Missouri Independent reports. In the ruling, Judge Cotton Walker determined that Joy Sweeney, an anti-drug legalization activist who filed the lawsuit, lacked standing to sue because she hadn’t proven she was a Missouri citizen. 

Walker also said that were he to rule on the merits of the case, he would have ruled against Sweeney and sided with Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Legal Missouri, the campaign backing the initiative petition. In the ruling, Walker said the petition was lawful in that it contained only a single subject, had enough valid signatures, and was “legally authorized” by Ashcroft’s office. 

“Foremost, 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. We followed the law – we did everything right.” — Ashcroft, in a statement, via the Independent 

In a statement, John Payne, Legal Missouri’s campaign manager, called the ruling “another step towards the historic passage of this citizen-led initiative to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana in Missouri.” 

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

Following the ruling, Luke Niforatos, the CEO of Protect Our Kids PAC, a Colorado-based super PAC launched earlier this year that opposes cannabis legalization and is supporting Sweeney’s lawsuit, said the group was “extremely disappointed that they dismissed this based on a technicality that was not true.” 

Sweeney attended the hearing, virtually, from Virginia. 

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