Although medical marijuana has been known to improve the quality of life for many children suffering from severe health conditions, a group of Missouri prosecutors has filed a lawsuit intended to prevent the voting public from deciding on whether to legalize a medicinal cannabis program in the upcoming November election.
The reason for this retaliation, they say, is because the herb “destroys children’s lives and results in addiction and a lifetime of suffering.”
According to court records obtained by Riverfront Times, the complaint, which appears to be the work of St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough, suggests that that the legalization of medical marijuana “would be a devastating mistake for millions of Missourians.” The group has petitioned the court in hopes of preventing the inclusion of a statewide voter initiative on the ballot later this fall.
Interestingly, the opposed measure may not even appear on the November ballot with or without the pending lawsuit. At the beginning of the month, it was revealed that New Approach Missouri had failed to collect the signatures necessary to move on to the next level of its campaign. Secretary of State Jason Kander said the organization fell about 2,200 petitions shy of meeting the state requirement for ballot proposals.
However, supporters of the New Approach campaign argue that their failure is due to the disqualification of more than 10,000 signatures. They have since filed a lawsuit in an attempt to reinstate the lost petitions.
The lawsuit filed by the St. Louis prosecutors appears to be an attempted safeguard against the possible advancement of the initiative.
While the odds appear to be stacked against New Approach, the group’s fearless leader, John Payne, argues that the lawsuit is just another feeble drug warrior tactic aimed at preventing the legalization of safe and effective medicine.
“Prosecutors are elected to enforce the laws, not to lobby for their own self-interests or oppose the voters' right to reform their government through the initiative process," Payne said. "We believe doctors and patients, not politicians, should be making decisions about medical cannabis."
A similar lawsuit was filed recently in Arizona against a ballot measure aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana. Last Friday, a judge dismissed the case.