Opponents of medical marijuana initiative ask a judge for a rushed restraining order to keep it off the ballot

SALT LAKE CITY — A group calling itself “Truth About Proposition 2” is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction within the next week to keep the medical marijuana ballot initiative from going before voters in November.

In a motion filed Wednesday night in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, attorneys for the organization, Walter Plumb III, Art Brown and Bruce Rigby ask for an injunction to block Proposition 2 from going before voters. They also demanded the judge hear arguments on it within the next five days.

“Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their underlying case, because the [Utah Medical Cannabis Act] is facially and patently unconstitutional, and should therefore never have been certified for the November 2018 ballot,” they wrote.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox has repeatedly said he is within his constitutional authority to place Prop. 2 before voters to decide.

The lawsuit to keep Prop. 2 off the ballot initially claimed that medical cannabis would violate Mormons’ deeply-held religious beliefs that marijuana is “repugnant.” That legal argument changed when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it was not against medical cannabis, so long as it was doctor-prescribed and pharmacy dispensed.

Now, the lawsuit claims it would violate property owners’ rights to not have marijuana on their premises. In an affidavit filed with the court, Plumb declared that he is “deeply opposed, for moral, business and personal reasons to the use and possession of cannabis in all its forms” except anything approved by the FDA.

“I would find it deeply offensive to be forced by the State of Utah to allow the possession and use of cannabis or other mind-altering or psychoactive drugs by tenants on my real property or to otherwise be mandated by the State of Utah to lease or cause my real property to be leased to these individuals,” Plumb wrote.

Plumb is bankrolling some of the opposition to medical marijuana. He’s contributed heavily to Drug Safe Utah, a coalition of groups including the LDS Church, Utah Medical Association, and state lawmakers, opposed to Prop. 2.

In previous court filings, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, representing Lt. Gov. Cox, has asked for Truth About Proposition 2’s lawsuit to be dismissed. A federal judge has yet to rule on that but has also not scheduled a hearing yet on this latest request for an injunction.

Read the injunction request here: