Attorneys earlier this week filed motions to dismiss challenges to two of three medical marijuana issues that Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has placed on Missouri's Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Brad Bradshaw, of Springfield, filed the challenges in early August, shortly after Ashcroft announced the initiative petitions had received enough registered voters' signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Bradshaw also sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment, designated as Amendment 3, to allow use of medical marijuana and to create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities.
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.
He's challenging Amendment 2, which would 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.
He's also challenging a petition that would change state law to legalize use of medical marijuana in specific cases.
Assistant Attorney General Jason K. Lewis said Thursday that, in both cases, the state had filed motions to dismiss, saying his office didn't believe Bradshaw had met the criteria necessary for challenges to the bills.
Representing Bradshaw, attorney James E. Meadows, of Springfield, said they contend the petition circulators left the petitions in public places for people to sign and didn't witness the signatures as state law requires. The challenge also says the circulators must be present when the signatures are notarized, which, they said, was not the case.
Meadows said they have begun the process of seeking out the circulators and notaries to take their depositions.
Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce reminded Bradshaw that any depositions would be required to be shared with the defendants before next Friday.
Both sides filed briefs in the cases Wednesday, and several more were filed Thursday, Meadows said. They obtained subpoenas for more than 20 people who acted as circulators or notaries.
Joyce said she would try to determine by Friday whether the claim that circulators did not witness signatures being signed or that the petitions were notarized without the circulators being present was valid or not.
She expected to make a determination Friday afternoon and plans to schedule another hearing soon.