Less than 24 hours after hearing arguments, Judge Cotton Walker dismissed the case brought by Joy Sweeney against the Secretary of State and the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign.
While the case was dismissed as Judge Walker stated Sweeney had not proven her standing as a citizen in the state of Missouri, the judge wrote that the importance of the issue necessitates a finding of fact.
Judge Walker wrote that the court found that Sweeney’s single issue challenge was not merited, as the initiative petition addressed only a single subject.
Addressing Sweeney’s second contention, Judge Walker found that the campaign had collected a valid number of signatures to warrant an appearance on the ballot.
The primary argument presented by Sweeney’s attorneys contended that the Secretary of State’s office had over-exerted its authority by reviewing and collected signatures that were marked invalid by local election officials.
Judge Walker asserted that the duty of the Secretary of State’s office was to ensure the validity of signatures and petitions, writing that the court concludes that “the Secretary of State has the obligation to correctly and accurately certify the number of valid signatures for an Initiative.”
“Today we took another step towards the historic passage of this citizen-led initiative to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana in Missouri, while automatically expunging past, nonviolent marijuana offenses from Missourians’ records. We are thrilled that Missourians will have the opportunity to pass Amendment 3 in November, which will allow law enforcement to better focus on violent crime, while bringing millions in new revenue to Missouri,” said Legal Missouri 2022 Campaign Manager, John Payne.
Sweeney’s attorneys have stated they will appeal the decision.
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