Opponents file lawsuit to stop medical marijuana ballot initiative, advocates call it ‘frivolous’


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Those who oppose a medical marijuana ballot initiative in Utah have filed a lawsuit to stop it from making its way on the November ballot.

Friday, Drug Safe Utah and others filed an emergency injunction to stop Lt. Governor Spencer Cox from approving the ballot initiative.

The lawsuit said the proposed law is “patently unconstitutional” and “could not become law if passed.”

The complaint also says since medical marijuana is still illegal federally, it will place the state in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause which makes federal law the supreme law of the land.

Read the entire complaint

The injunction is the latest action taken by the opposition to kill the ballot initiative. The Utah Medical Association and others actively worked to get people to remove their signatures from the initiative.

Monday, the Utah Patients Coalition, the group behind the initiative, filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit against the Medical Cannabis Act to “protect its interest and that of Utah’s voters.”

“Having failed to remove enough signatures to stop our progress — and after engaging in deceptive tactics to persuade petition signers to rescind their support — the opposition has now filed a frivolous lawsuit,” said DJ Schanz, director for the Utah Patients Coalition.

“As the organizers of the medical cannabis campaign, we intend to defend against the opposition’s continued false claims and assist the Lieutenant Governor in helping the judge to see why this lawsuit should not undermine the ability of Utahns to vote on this issue. Accordingly, we have filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to preserve the right of Utah voters to say if patients and doctors should be criminalized for using cannabis when treating serious medical conditions.”

Read the entire motion

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...