Prohibitionists In Three States File Lawsuits Against Legalization Of Cannabis
Prohibitionist forces in three states are blocking initiatives to legalize cannabis that voters approved in this month's elections. Legalization measures have appeared on ballots in five states this year, and a majority of voters approved them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In Montana, 57% of voters approved of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, and the Montana Constitution says that spending that money is entirely up to the legislature. But the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the Montana groups fighting the initiative, has filed a lawsuit, claiming the measure is unconstitutional because it does not allocate money from recreational taxes for any specific purpose. The group also opposes the wording of the election laws.
Steve Zabawa, treasurer for Montana, says the process of the secretary of state and attorney general allows things to be done retrospectively. “The Montana Constitution doesn't look like that and it doesn't appear in the Constitution”, he said.
In Mississippi, the city of Madison filed a lawsuit against a measure to legalize medical marijuana that was supported by 73% of voters. The city argues that the collection of signatures and votes on the initiative should be invalidated by the state parliament because the state parliament failed to update the provisions. Black or white, there is no question that voting rights initiatives cannot raise money.
The state Supreme Court has set a hearing date for the case in December, but lawyers for the original plaintiffs in the initiative argued earlier this month that even if the Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiffs, in that case, it would have invalidated the voting rights of Mississippi citizens who supported Initiative 65 and invalidate an entire section of our Constitution because past constitutional amendments have called into question initiatives. In South Dakota, a lawsuit against an initiative to create a regulated commercial market for adult cannabis users alleges that the measure violates an issue that is not covered in the constitution. The lawsuit was filed just days after the election and is supported in part by Republican Governor Kristi Noem, who said after the election that she believed 54% of voters who support the initiatives had made the wrong decision in approving it.
Noem said she personally opposed the measure and strongly believed it was the wrong decision for South Dakota's communities. “I think we're taking a step back And we have to find a way to strengthen our families, and I firmly believe that is the right way to go”.