Late Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith ruled that the Smart and Safe Act ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in Arizona did not mislead voters about key provisions in its 100-word summary, as a frivolous lawsuit by a local anti-marijuana group claimed.
Overcoming the lawsuit and getting the initiative’s signatures certified by the Arizona Secretary of State are the last hurdles for the initiative to get onto the ballots this November, Arizona Capitol Times reported. In early July, the initiative submitted 420,000 signatures to the Secretary of State, which was about 180,000 more than the state required.
“At 100 words, the summary also cannot include everything,” Smith wrote. “That is why the full initiative must accompany the petition.” He continued, “This initiative is plain: It wants to legalize recreational marijuana. That is the principal provision. It is unlikely electors signing these petitions would be surprised by cascading effects of legalizing a formerly illegal substance.”
The lawsuit also claimed that marijuana legalization would lead to minors being exposed to marijuana-related advertising.
In his response, Smith said, “Voters will not be surprised that sellers (dispensaries) may advertise a now-legal product if the initiative passes.” He said it’d be no different than other adult products that are already advertised, from medical marijuana products to “condom commercials to ubiquitous beer advertisements.”
Smith stressed that it is up to voters to decide if an initiative is good or bad, and that many of the objections from the opposition are “policy issues best left for voters or elected representatives.”