Utah Supreme Court Rules Lawmakers Can Replace Medical Cannabis Initiative
Another chapter in the ongoing struggle over medical marijuana in Utah has just been slammed shut. This week, the Utah Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit filed against the state by a medical marijuana advocacy group.
Specifically, the suit challenged the Utah legislature’s decision to replace a voter-approved medical marijuana referendum with its own medical marijuana laws. Despite this first lawsuit being dismissed, there is still another one pending.
Supreme Court Dismissed Lawsuit
In a decision filed yesterday, the Utah Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state legislature. As a result, the medical marijuana rules established last year in House Bill 3001 will remain in place.
And, even more concerning for many medical marijuana patients and advocates, one of the lawsuits challenging that bill is dead.
“While the Utah Constitution creates and protects the voters’ right to place legislation on the ballot for approval or rejection by the people, it also carves out an exception to that right,” Justice Paige Petersen wrote in the court’s opinion. “When both houses of the legislature pass legislation by a two-thirds supermajority, that law is not subject to a referendum.”
She continued: “Because this renders moot Petitioners’ argument about the constitutionality of the