Medical Marijuana Grower, Others Sue to Stop Pot Legalization Initiative

The state’s most famous purveyor of medical marijuana and others have sued to keep a marijuana legalization initiative off the November ballot.

Claiming Initiative 502 could be “ruinous” to the state budget, opponents filed a lawsuit late last week in King County Superior Court claiming the ballot should warn voters of the measure’s costs.

Evaluators at the state Office of Financial Management have not yet said whether they believe the measure — which would regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession – will have positive or negative financial impact if passed by voters.

Contacted Thursday, civil liberties attorney and I-502 supporter with New Approach Washington Alison Holcomb noted state law gives the Office of Financial Management until Aug. 10 to issue its opinion. She said she remains “confident the agency will meet its deadline.”

Standing behind the lawsuit is Steve Sarich, a medical marijuana advocate who gained notoriety in 2010 when he shot a teenage burglar attempting to break into his Kirkland home and pot grow.

Sarich, owner of CannaCare, and one of five young would-be burglars traded shots during the apparent break-in attempt. One of the teenage assailants had worked for Sarich, and two others had obtained medical marijuana licenses through CannaCare; all five ultimately pleaded guilty to charges related to the break-in.

The lawsuit is the latest move by pot-supporting opponents of the pro-legalization initiative.

Backed by numerous elected officials and several former law enforcement officials, I-502 has drawn criticism from anti-initiative activists who claim it would penalize unimpaired drivers who’d previously smoked marijuana.

– Read the entire article at The Arizona Republic.