Lawsuit filed to knock recreational pot off Missouri ballot

August 22, 2022 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An anti-drug group on Monday announced support for a lawsuit to take a recreational marijuana legalization proposal off Missouri’s November ballot.

Jefferson City resident Joy Sweeney filed the lawsuit Friday with support from the national anti-drug group Protect Our Kids.

The suit alleged that marijuana supporters didn’t gather enough valid voter signatures to put the proposal to a vote. The lawsuit also claimed the ballot measure deals with too many policies in violation of the state constitution.

“We are proud to stand alongside Ms. Sweeney in her challenge to the scam that is this marijuana legalization referendum,” Protect Our Kids CEO Luke Niforatos said in a statement. “Not only does the language deceive voters about the harms of legalization, it is in violation of state law and the Missouri Constitution.”

Campaign manager John Payne said the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana “had the grassroots support necessary to collect the valid number of signatures required to reach the ballot” compared to dozens of other failed initiative petitions filed this election cycle.

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“This lawsuit lacks merit and in less than three months Missouri will be the 20th state to regulate, tax and legalize cannabis,” Payne said in a statement.

Missouri’s secretary of state, the state’s top election official, didn’t immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment Monday.

Missouri’s ballot proposal would allow those age 21 and older to buy and grow weed for personal consumption and automatically erase records of some past marijuana-related crimes.