Judge hears arguments in challenge to marijuana legalization proposition ballot language

Posted at 4:54 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 20:59:25-04

On Friday, attorneys with Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy took action against an initiative set to already hit the November ballot - the legalization of recreational marijuana with Prop 205.

Opponents claim the summary of the proposition, which will appear on each printed ballot, is flawed. Lawyers say the wording of the summary is confusing and misleading. 

"Every single sentence, every single provision of the 100 words has a fault in it [and] is problematic," said Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy Chairman Seth Leibsohn. "I think the summary in the ballot statement is problematic and fraudulent."

Leibsohn and others told Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry the ballot summary as written only covers five of the 22 provisions of the law. An attorney for the proponents told Gentry their summary accurately described the major provisions and naturally couldn't and didn't have to include every change to existing law.

Those behind the initiative, which was formally approved as a proposition earlier this week, insist the lawsuit is just a plot by those against the legalization of marijuana to keep the decision out of the hands of voters.

"Most of the arguments that they made were not supported by any kind of law," said Roy Herrera, the lawyer representing the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "And even the ones that were, I think, were incorrect."

Those in favor and in opposition poured into the Maricopa County Superior Court in downtown Phoenix as both sides argued to a judge.

The judge has been asked to reach her decision by Tuesday.