Anti-cannabis activists in Arizona have filed a lawsuit against the legalization ballot initiative arguing the 100-word summary of the petition did not tell voters the reforms would allow more potent forms of cannabis – such as concentrates – changes state driving under the influence laws, and doesn’t specifically say that the proposed 16 percent tax on sales can’t be increased by the Legislature, the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit was filed by Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, which is backed by Center for Arizona Policy – a conservative group that promotes religious freedom and anti-abortion legislation. Lisa James, the group’s chair, said in a statement that the initiatives are “virtually impossible to fix or update … after the fact when there are unintended consequences.”
Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, one of the lead attorneys for law firm Polsinelli who is representing the group, called the summary language “confusing and deceptive in numerous ways, beginning with the very definition of marijuana.”
Chad Campbell, chair of the pro-legalization group, Smart and Safe Arizona that backed the campaign, called the lawsuit “frivolous and ridiculous.”
“There’s no legal or technical merit to it – their arguments are campaign arguments. This is just a desperate attempt by very small group of people funded by the Center for Arizona Policy to try to keep the voters of Arizona from having their say in the matter.” – Campbell to the AP
Earlier this month the initiative campaign submitted 420,000 petition signatures to put the issue to voters in November.
If approved, individuals 21-and-older would be allowed to make legal purchases and possess up to 1 ounce. The 16 percent excise tax would be implemented, along with regular sales taxes. Industry-derived taxes would be mostly directed toward public safety and community colleges. Edibles would be permitted but THC in edible products would be capped at 10 milligrams.
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Anti-Cannabis Group Sues to Keep Legalization Off Arizona Ballot