Arizona Judge Throws Out Challenge to Legal Marijuana Initiative

Article by Megan Thompson, Associated Press via ABC 15 Arizona

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A judge on Friday threw out a legal challenge to an initiative that will ask voters in November to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona.

The ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissing the challenge is expected to be appealed by opponents of the measure directly to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Gentry ruled that opponents of Proposition 205 can’t challenge the initiative because of changes to the law in 2015 limiting such lawsuits. She said the Legislature, “wittingly or not,” eliminated a part of the law allowing any citizen to challenge the legality of initiative petitions.

In case that interpretation is overturned by the Supreme Court, Gentry went on to reject all of the reasons opponents laid out for keeping the initiative off the ballot.

They had asked her to bar it from the ballot because the short description voters saw when signing petitions left off many major provisions. For instance, the 100-word legal description did not include details about changes to DUI laws, child custody issues, employment law and many others.

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