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Plaintiffs Respond to Completion of Oral Arguments in Lawsuit Against Recreational Marijuana Initiative
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13 August 2016   Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy

Plaintiffs Respond to Completion of Oral Arguments in Lawsuit Against Recreational Marijuana Initiative

PHOENIX (August 12, 2016) – Today, coalition leaders representing the prevention, education, business, and law enforcement communities argued to enjoin the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (RTMA) from being placed on the ballot this November as Proposition 205. Three of the named plaintiffs offered these statements:

Seth Leibsohn, Chair ARDP: "The RTMA is so far reaching, so self-contradicting, and so misleading it cannot possibly or accurately be summarized by its title and text and, indeed, it is not. The arguments today highlighted the wide-ranging impacts the RTMA would impose on everything from law enforcement to education to landlord/tenant law to employment law to family law. This voter-protected initiative would of course be bad law and policy for Arizona if enacted, but its reach is so broad compared to how it is being promoted that it is also unconstitutional as drafted."

Glenn Hamer, CEO Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry: “The oral arguments today helped to highlight how overly broad and far-reaching this initiative is, far beyond what has been promoted to Arizona voters. When ballot measures are misleading, it’s an abuse of the state’s initiative process. We remain hopeful that the court will reject this end-run around the law.”

Paul Boyer, Chairman, Arizona State House of Representatives Education Committee: “This initiative cannot possibly comport with the requirements set out by our Constitution and statutes. Our attorneys highlighted these problems with the RTMA today, and hope the court will uphold the notion that for elections to be free and fair, voters should be able to know what they are voting on. Voters cannot know that if what is being ‘sold’ to them is deliberately misleading.”

BACKGROUND:

The lawsuit is based on three claims: 1) The signature sheets are invalid under the strict requirements of A.R.S. § 19-102(A) because they contain a misleading petition summary. 2) The Initiative violates the “Text and Title” Rule in the Arizona Constitution because the Initiative’s text impermissibly goes beyond what its title suggests, and because the Initiative’s text is so incoherent and confusing as to be misleading and a fraud on the electorate. ARIZ. CONST. Article 4, Part 1, § 1(9). 3) The Initiative violates the “Revenue Source Rule” in the Arizona Constitution (ARIZ. CONST. Article. 9, § 23) because it does not provide for its own immediate self-funding. Instead, the RTMA would impermissibly immediately transfer money from the Medical Marijuana Fund to fund the new program.

For a copy of the full complaint and list of plaintiffs, please click here.

About Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy

The Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy PAC was formed to actively oppose any initiative that would legalize the recreational use of the drug marijuana in the state of Arizona. Visit >www.ardp.org for more information. Paid for by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy in Opposition to I-08-2016. Major funding by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Empire Southwest LLC, Microchip Technology Incorporated, and Robson Communities Inc.