‘Rocky’ Anderson files lawsuit to restore Proposition 2, slams Gov. Herbert, LDS Church for contravening ‘will of the people’

"Rocky" Anderson (inset) filed a lawsuit against Utah Governor Gary Herbert regarding House Bill 3001. Photos: Wikimedia Commons/Don LaVange; Flickr/soupstance

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Attorney Ross “Rocky” Anderson has made good on his promise to file a lawsuit against Gov. Gary Herbert for disregarding Proposition 2, approved last month by the majority of Utah voters.

Rather than accept the vote and Prop 2 — written to legalize medical marijuana in Utah — Herbert and a selection of experts and special interest representatives worked to craft a replacement bill, House Bill 3001. Herbert called for a Legislative special session for a vote on the replacement bill. Once it was approved by Utah’s House of Representatives and Senate, Herbert signed the replacement bill into law on Monday.

Although the actions taken were legal under Utah law, Anderson argues that Herbert and other state officials involved should have respected the will of the people and the intent of the process that allows for propositions and direct public voting on issues that qualify.

Among those whose input was sought on the replacement bill were representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had vocally opposed Proposition 2.

Anderson, a former Salt Lake City Mayor, represents clients including Epilepsy Association of Utah, TRUCE (Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education) and several patients with chronic conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana. Anderson called Herbert’s action an “unconstitutional violation by the Utah Legislature of the constitutional right of the People to directly pass legislation through the initiative process.”

Anderson’s lawsuit also claims “interference with the State’s functions by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” which he calls a violation of Utah’s Constitution.

The lawsuit also accuses Herbert of calling the special session of the Utah Legislature on the earliest possible date, “with the intent of undermining core purposes of Proposition 2 by radically reducing and burdening the access of patients to medical cannabis.”

The lawsuit cites a number of other ways it says Herbert undermined Proposition 2, circumventing it rather than respecting the will of the people who voted for Prop 2.

See the full document, provided by Anderson, below:

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief


  1. At a boy Rocky it’s not what the people voted for. Men and women try to do what’s right try to be patriotic like we’re taught the people spoke that should be what was passed in to law it’s what’s right and fair or whats the use, good luck and thank you from one of the people behind you all the way.

  2. I have not been a big fan of Mr. Anderson, on this action I have to agree with his suit.
    As Goverment is over stepping it’s boundaries, and telling the millions of Utahin tgat “We know Better than the voters, that voted us in and for this and other bills”
    I WILL be dontating monies towards this campaign, if we don’t stop these politicians , we will lose our voice and most of all out “God given right to Vote”

  3. Where is the petison to sign this is why i voted cuz the of Prop 2 i want my name on it so mr. anderson cane wee see it here in Ogden god bless you i have a very bad chronic pains my body i would love to drop one of the lyrica and percets

  4. I happen to be a person with an autoimmune disease, and I can’t fathom that it is legal/constitutional for the legislature to pass a bill that clearly discriminates against such people. If my doctors say I have it, I have it, enough said. It so happens that I don’t need medical marijuana at this time and may never need it, but I know people who do. Why on earth would these people push such patients back onto opioids, which often eventually cease to work. This legislation is based on a narrow “morality” rather than medical realities. All the best in the lawsuit.

    • The most simple answer to your question is money. There is too much money (the church has over a billion dollars invested in the pharmaceutical industry) at stake. It all comes down to corporate interests which is what really runs this state.

  5. Thanks Rocky
    This is by far a bigger issue than Prop 2. This is about the will of the people. This is America.
    The law that is in place that allows them to do this is unconditional, and UN American.
    Behind closed doors? Really?
    Also, I am not bashing anyone’s faith. I am defending their freedom. Those that don’t agree with Prop 2 are not affected in anyway. Their freedom of choice is not infringed upon. It would also seem that the state want’s their cut of the profits.
    Another issue that stands out, is the LDS churches influences over our elected officials. A clear violation of church and state. This has always been the case in Utah.
    Taking this to court in Utah is a long shot. They control our elected leaders, what makes anyone think that they don’t have the influence on our judges as well.
    I voted for prop 2. I do not use marijuana. I don’t condemn those that do. As long as it it used responsibly ,like alcohol.
    I believe it should have the same consequences of impairment while driving, or at work.
    Is this America ?

  6. When elected officials think that they are smarter than the general population and they impose their will over the majority vote of the people, something is seriously out of order and it isn’t the people. If elected leaders buck the will of the people maybe it is time for a change in elected leaders. Remember what your elected leaders did to take away your voice during the next election cycle and VOTE to remove.

  7. I disagree with Rocky most of the time. I actually think he is a tool, but I support him on this. Our government is too controlling. As a member of the Church, I am annoyed that they were in this meeting using their power to push this political argument their direction.

  8. Go Rocky!!! Constitutions are in place for a reason. Separation from church and state is imperative to our freedom as Americans. The people spoke, and the compromise proved that the ideas of the few are more important than the voices of the many. We are gonna win this!! Thank you for fighting to keep Utah fair and free.

  9. If we had the chance I think that the people of Utah should wipe the slate clean on our so called “law makers” and vote representatives in that do not have a religious influence. As a former member of the LDS church, it’s situations like this that make me extremely angry. It is absolutely a violation of separation of church and state. They should change it to, “Unless you bribe us, and then the peoples vote is worth jack.” Let’s be honest, this is the church leaders throwing an adult tantrum because a bill that is against their religious beliefs passed. The laughable thing is that the church members know nothing about cannabis, and choose to ignore the benefits because a good portion of them feel that because you are taking a pill you aren’t taking a drug. Cannabis is a plant, Oxy’s are the drug. Our law makers are even too dense to do something about the quality of our air even though we are all suffering from the toxins. There is a company that actually makes machines that turn Co2 in to clean air. Why have we not made this one of our first changes to the state? This, along with many other reasons is why as soon as I have the means I will be moving my family out of this LDS bubble and into a state where our vote means something. Exercise whatever religious beliefs you want in your own home, but you have NO right to change or negate our vote. You are not an American if you do.


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