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Bradshaw's lawyer appeals Joyce's ruling after she dismissed his lawsuit

Bradshaw's lawyer appeals Joyce's ruling after she dismissed his lawsuit

September 4th, 2018 by Bob Watson in Local News

Only a few hours after she dismissed Springfield resident Brad Bradshaw's lawsuit challenging a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the use of medical marijuana in Missouri, his attorney asked the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City to reverse Joyce's decision.

In his written notice of appeal, Springfield attorney James E. Meadows argued the issue should be removed from the Nov. 6 general election ballot, because: "Thousands of individuals signed the (initiative petition) signature pages while not in the presence of the circulator (as required by state law, and) that signatures were not by registered voters."

Additionally, Meadows said, "The circulators did not actually sign affidavits in the presence of notaries," which also is required by state law.

And the petition circulators failed to collect the minimum number of signatures needed in the second and fifth Congressional districts, Meadows wrote.

He had used similar arguments in his trial court brief and in his appearance before Joyce last Thursday.

However, she ruled Friday, "The Missouri Supreme Court has already ruled that once the signatures have been submitted to the Secretary of State and verified by local election authorities 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."

In her six-page ruling Friday, Joyce also wrote several Supreme Court rulings "emphasize the importance of the people's right of initiative, and draw a clear distinction between the statutory requirements for signature collection and the constitutional requirements of a minimum number of voters (signatures) from a certain percentage of congressional districts."

Meadows also wants the appeals court to overturn a 2006 Missouri Supreme Court ruling that "malfeasance or errors at the hands of circulator or notary do not override the initiative process and the determination of whether there are significant signatures to certify the initiative petition."

He made that argument during the trial stage, as well — but Joyce rejected it, saying: "This court is bound to follow the Missouri Supreme Court's holdings.

"Only that court can reconsider its own precedent."

Bradshaw proposed, and supports, Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3, which would allow medical marijuana to be used in Missouri, then impose a 15 percent tax on its retail sale, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves, per dry-weight ounce, to licensed facilities.

Bradshaw filed two lawsuits last month, seeking to block Amendment 2 and a proposed law change from being on the ballot.

He cited procedural problems with the way both petitions were handled.

Amendment 2, supported by the New Approach Missouri committee and by Sheila Dundon, of Columbia, also would approve the use of medical marijuana, impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, then use the money raised by the tax to pay for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission, and to administer a program to license or certify and to regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft on Aug. 2 said all three petitions met the legal requirements for being placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.