Wrong for Montana last week filed a motion to dismiss its own lawsuit challenging the state’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis initiative the Helena Independent Record reports. The lawsuit challenged provisions in I-109 that allocated tax revenue to specific projects, which is not allowed under the state Constitution.
The lawsuit became irrelevant when Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed HB 701—the bill to implement adult-use legalization— into law.
Despite filing the motion, Steve Zabawa, founder of the anti-cannabis organization, maintained voters were “tricked” into passing I-109, but was “confident” in the bill signed by the governor.
“It seems like everything is side-boarded,” he said in an interview with the Independent Record. “I think we’re ready to move on to the next chapter.”
Prior to Wrong for Montana’s motion, the state Attorney General’s Office filed its own motion to dismiss on the grounds HB 701 had replaced I-109. In their filing, the AG’s office described the lawsuit as “moot.”
The group behind the successful legalization campaign, New Approach Montana—now known as the Montana Cannabis Guild—also filed a motion to dismiss.
Cannabis Guild President and CEO J.D. “Pepper” Petersen told the Independent Record that “the lawsuit never had any merit in the first place.” He added that he doesn’t “put any merit in” anything Zabawa says.
Although Zabawa is walking away from the lawsuit, he does not appear to be backing down—a message on Wrong for Montana’s website reads: “Let’s make 2023 the year we rectify the great wrong of 2020.”
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