Brad Bradshaw, of Springfield, wants two of the three medical marijuana issues removed from Missouri's Nov. 6 ballot, arguing both of them didn't meet the state's requirements for initiative petitions to qualify to be placed on the ballot.
Bradshaw's attorneys will get the chance to argue their case Sept. 14, asking Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green to block a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize marijuana use for medical purposes in Missouri.
Lawyer James E. Meadows, of Springfield, also asked Green on Thursday to deny the motions from Sheila Dundon and the group New Approach Missouri to intervene in the case.
"By allowing intervenors to come in here, we complicate (the) issues," Meadows said, arguing state law requires the case to move through the courts as quickly as possible.
But Michael Wolff, a former state Supreme Court Judge and Saint Louis University Law School dean, told Green previous court rulings say proponents of an issue "have an absolute right to intervene."
Green granted the motion to intervene and allowed Bradshaw's lawyers to begin taking depositions early.
Assistant Attorney General Jason K. Lewis said all courts have to weigh in on the issue by Sept. 26, the "drop-dead" date for Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to tell all local election authorities what issues must be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Bradshaw sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the use of medical marijuana and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities.
The proposed Amendment 3 would impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves, per dry-weight ounce, to licensed facilities.
Some of the tax money collected would establish and pay for a state research institute to develop cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions.
The proposed amendment Bradshaw seeks to block also would allow marijuana use for medical purposes and would create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities.
Amendment 2 also would impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, then use the money raised by that tax to pay for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission, and to administer the program to license/certify and to regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities.
The fiscal note estimated the proposal would generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, and $6 million for local governments, with annual state operating costs of about $7 million.
Bradshaw's proposed Amendment 3 would generate an estimated annual taxes and fees of $66 million, with state governmental entities estimating initial implementation costs of $186,000, and increased annual operating costs of $500,000.
Bradshaw's six-page lawsuit argues "thousands of individuals, in excess of those needed for certification in the congressional districts, signed the (petition) while not in the presence" of the person circulating the petition — a violation of the state's regulations.
And the lawsuit says New Approach Missouri, "which ran the campaign for the (petition), ran an intentional, systematic, pervasive and ubiquitous pattern of instructing individuals to violate the legal process of the petition signature gathering process."
Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for New Approach Missouri, said after Thursday morning's hearing: "Brad Bradshaw is attempting to do at the courthouse what he's not going to be able to do at the ballot box — which is to defeat Amendment 2.
"We turned in certified signatures that place us, clearly, on the ballot. In fact, our minimum buffer in each of the six congressional districts that we collected in, is at least 5,000 certified signatures."
Cardetti said passing Amendment 2 would make Missouri the 31st state to "allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with serious and debilitating illnesses."
He called Bradshaw's lawsuit "frivolous."
Meadows declined to comment, referring a reporter to the lawsuit itself.
Bradshaw's other lawsuit, which challenges a proposed change in state law, is pending before Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce — with no hearings set yet.