Pubdate: Tuesday, 4 August 1998
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Author: Howard Fischer


PHOENIX - The state Supreme Court will decide today what voters will be told
about the proposed repeal of a law legalizing illegal drugs for medical use.

At issue is whether the wording written by legislators is biased because it
singles out certain illegal drugs, such as heroin and LSD, from 116 listed
in the measure.

A Maricopa Superior Court judge last week ordered the Legislative Council -
a committee of legislators backing the measure - to remove those references
from a brochure for voters.

The legislative committee, represented by private attorney John Lundin,
appealed that ruling.

Lundin told the justices yesterday that they have no right to second-guess
whether an explanation of Proposition 300 meets the legal requirement of
being impartial.

Lundin said the constitution gives legislators power over their own acts,
which are not subject to court review.

Even if he is wrong, Lundin argued that the explanation is ``substantially''

But John Buttrick, representing backers of the ``medical marijuana''
measure, said the Supreme Court must ensure that voters receive a truly
impartial explanation of the measure.

If the Supreme Court agrees, the only option may be to publish the brochure
without the Legislative Council's explanation. The council cannot meet and
reword the explanation by today's 10 a.m. deadline for the pamphlets to be

The referendum language, along with arguments for and against it, would
still be in the voter pamphlet.

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Checked-by: "Rolf Ernst"