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Find KUER's reporting on the races, candidates and more for Utah’s 2018 midterm elections. Click here for our graphics of the U.S. Senate race, 4 Congressional races and Utah ballot initiatives.

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative

marijuana leaf. / Darren415

Updated 8/16/18 4:22 pm

An anti-marijuana group said it is not party to a lawsuit filed this week to stop a medical marijuana ballot initiative. A spokesperson for Drug Safe Utah said they didn't agree to be named plaintiffs in the suit.

The lawsuit is the second filed so far to stop Proposition 2, which would legalize the use of medical marijuana for people with qualifying illnesses.

Walter J. Plumb, a real estate developer filed the suit in 3rd District court Wednesday and initially named Drug Safe Utah as a plaintiff. But Thursday afternoon, he had the organization removed from court documents. He said his lawsuit is narrowly focused on property rights.

"I have rental properties. Can the state of Utah force me to rent to somebody with a medical marijuana card? The answer is absolutely no," Plumb said.

Plumb also cites his religious beliefs in the filing. He said the initiative would require Mormons to rent to people who consume "mind-altering substances".

Christine Stenquist is an advocate for Proposition 2. She said she doesn't think landlords should decide what patients can and can't do.

"If I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had been living in a residence for two or three years, I would hate to think that a landlord had the right to kick me out because he didn't like the health care choices I'm making," Stenquist said.

The Utah Apartment Association has not taken a stance on the initiative.

Opponents dropped a federal lawsuit last month that tried to block the initiative based on its status as a federally illegal drug. An attorney for the group said it would be too difficult to litigate before voters weigh in.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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