New Approach Missouri, which is leading the campaign to bring legal medical cannabis to Missouri with Amendment 2, was challenged in a lawsuit for allegedly having broken the law when gathering signatures for the upcoming medical cannabis legalization initiative.
Dr. Brad Bradshaw, a Missouri physician and lawyer who has his own competing initiative, filed the lawsuit earlier this month against New Approach. His complaint? The petitions were set out for people to sign “on multiple occasions” with no circulator present. He said circulators did not sign petitions in front of notaries, as required by law.
Thankfully, Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce dismissed Bradshaw’s lawsuit against New Approach Missouri on Friday Aug. 31, 2018.
In her decision, Judge Joyce said that even if signatures were improperly collected, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the deciding issue when determining to strike a question from the ballot is whether the signatures gathered were of registered voters.
"The only relevant issue at this point is whether the signatures are those of registered voters, not whether each signature was collected in complete compliance with statutory requirements," Joyce wrote.
Amendment 2 has the most broad-based support from veterans, health care providers and most importantly patients. New Approach Missouri’s goal is to make Missouri the 31st state to allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with serious and debilitating illnesses. Amendment 2 is the best initiative for veterans and patients.
"Missourians will have the opportunity to vote for Amendment 2 and make Missouri the 31st state that allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating illnesses," said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for New Approach Missouri, per the St. Louis Post- Dispatch.
"Amendment 2 is supported by a true coalition of patients, veterans and health care providers who believe doctors and their patients should be put back in charge of medical treatment options," said Cardetti who added that Bradshaw, who is self-funding his effort, is “a coalition of one” while New Approach has grassroots support.
Another lawsuit by Bradshaw is trying to remove a third initiative, Missourians for Patient Care, by charging the group has not gathered enough signatures in one congressional district.
His lawyers are busily attempting to disqualify enough signatures to have it removed from the ballot. That lawsuit is still pending.
Meanwhile, Bradshaw's own initiative, Find the Cures, seeks to impose a 15 percent tax on medical cannabis sales.