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Lawsuit filed to bar marijuana legalization question from Missouri ballot


A Jefferson City woman who works with a national anti-drug organization filed a lawsuit last week to block an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana from the Missouri ballot.

Joy Sweeney, a deputy director for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and former Jefferson City Board of Education member, filed the lawsuit Friday in Cole County. Sweeney sued Secretary of State John Ashcroft for certifying a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana and expunge some drug offenses.

Ashcroft certified the ballot question earlier this month.

Sweeney is asking a court to block the question from the ballot. She claims the question violates the constitution's requirement that amendments not contain more than one subject. Sweeney says the legalization and expungement provisions count as separate subjects.

Sweeney also claims the petition drive fell short of actually getting the number of required signatures in six out of eight of Missouri's congressional districts.

An Aug. 30 deadline looms to certify the state ballot for local election authorities. No hearings in the case have been set.

Ashcroft's office says it hasn't been served with the lawsuit yet but that Ashcroft followed the law in certifying the amendment for the ballot.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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