Medical marijuana ballot initiative opponents drop lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY — Opponents of the medical marijuana ballot initiative have dropped their lawsuit against the Lt. Governor to block it from going on the November ballot.

In a court filing on Monday, the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Utah announced it would dismiss its lawsuit without prejudice, meaning it can be re-filed at a later date (and if the initiative passed, even after that).

Coalition attorney Blake Ostler told FOX 13 there were many reasons.

“A lot of change is happening at the federal level,” he said, referring to marijuana being classified as a Schedule 1 drug and the FDA recently approving CBD for use in some circumstances.

Mark Fotheringham, a spokesman for the Utah Medical Association, which is a member of the Coalition, told FOX 13 they reserved the right to refile it later in state court, where the case began.

Read the motion to dismiss the lawsuit here:

The decision came just days after the coalition sought an emergency restraining order to block Lt. Governor Spencer Cox from putting it on the ballot. The immediate impact of the coalition dropping the lawsuit is that Proposition 2, the medical marijuana ballot initiative, will now go before voters in November.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox had no comment on the lawsuit’s dismissal, a spokeswoman for his office told FOX 13. He previously had defended his authority to place the issue before voters, arguing it qualified after meeting the signature threshold requirements.

The Utah Patients Coalition, which is sponsoring Prop. 2, told FOX 13 it was glad to see the lawsuit dropped.

“With this frivolous lawsuit dropped now by Drug Safe Utah, the patients and advocates of cannabis reform in Utah are one step closer today to giving medical patients access to their medicine, without being criminalized, than we were yesterday,” said UPC director DJ Schanz. “We look forward to November when the voters of Utah can finally have a say.”