A pending court case was the only thing that could have stood in the way of Arizona’s Proposition 205 and voters this November – but Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry has dismissed the case against the initiative. Opponents tried to argue that the 100 word summary presented to voters during the petitioning phase should be considered fraudulent as it does not mention changes it would make in areas such as those concerning motorists, child custody, workplaces and more. In the end, the judge determined that they didn’t have grounds for a case at all.
“This was a frivolous and politically motivated lawsuit,” campaign Chairman J.P. Holyoak said. “If these county prosecutors dislike this ballot measure, they should take their arguments to the voters, not to our overburdened court system. We hope they will accept the court’s ruling and return to waging legal battles against dangerous criminals rather than citizen initiatives.”
The judge dismissed the case after determining that the 100 word summary was suitable (especially since the opponents did not offer a way to improve it) as well as her interpretation of a 2015 law which prevents individuals from challenging the legality of a proposed initiative. The law was meant to end these kinds of court cases and leave the courts free to handle more important things.
“We would anticipate this going to appeal, and it is our hope that the courts look favorably on our challenge and that this ill-considered measure will not be sent to Arizona voters,” said Garrick Taylor, the Chamber’s spokesman. “It is potentially extremely damaging to Arizona’s economy and we will continue to oppose it vigorously.
While the opposition plans to appeal straight to the Supreme Courts, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is sure that the Supreme Courts will dismiss the case on the same grounds as the Superior Court Judge. They also plan to seek reimbursement for their court costs by asking the courts to have the opposition cover them. After all, court costs aren’t cheap and if the case is dismissed again they never needed to be there in the first place.
This is not the first court case this year centered around the legality of an initiative – unfortunately that seems to be a last resort for prohibitionists who want to prevent voters from having a say on the issue of legalization. In only a few short months, five different states will get a chance to legalize adult use of cannabis and now Arizonans can be happy knowing Proposition 205 will see election day this year after all.