Four way JOIN (many-to-many + lookup); preventing duplicates when using scopes

I have two “top-level” entities joined with a third table (many-to-many relationship) which uses yet another table (lookup/reference table) to describe the nature of the relationship of the join. ActiveRecord is adding an unnecessary JOIN which results in duplicate rows being returned.

[See model class definitions below.]

users INNER JOIN request_user_roles INNER JOIN request_role_types

@request.users.count # 1

users INNER JOIN request_user_roles INNER JOIN request_role_types INNER JOIN request_user_roles

@request.users.is_request_initiator.count # 898
@request.users.is_request_initiator.uniq.count # 1

users INNER JOIN request_user_roles INNER JOIN request_role_types INNER JOIN request_user_roles

@request.users.joins(:request_role_types).merge(RequestRoleType.is_initiator).count # 898

I want to select users for a particular request based on their role with respect to it.

I can write this in SQL, and I can write this in a single AR query, but I would like to simplify my code
with scopes, if possible. What I can’t do is structure a scope such that I don’t return duplicates. Or,
to put it another way, I can’t structure the scope to not automatically include the extra JOIN (on request_user_roles).
Is there a way to express this with AR scopes or in another modular, re-usable way? The uniq() feels dirty.

relevant classes

User

|

RequestUserRole - RequestRoleType

|

Request

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
has_many :request_user_roles
has_many :requests, :through => :request_user_roles
has_many :request_role_types, :through => :request_user_roles

scope :is_request_initiator, joins(:request_role_types).where(:request_role_types => {:request_role_type => ‘Initiator’})
end

class Request < ActiveRecord::Base
has_many :request_user_roles
has_many :users, :through => :request_user_roles
has_many :request_role_types, :through => :request_user_roles
end

class RequestUserRole < ActiveRecord::Base
belongs_to :user
belongs_to :request
belongs_to :request_role_type
end

class RequestRoleType < ActiveRecord::Base
has_many :request_user_roles

scope :is_initiator, where(:request_role_type => ‘Initiator’)
end

Nevermind. I don’t know what I was thinking using @request.users directly when I should have been using @request.request_user_roles instead.

This works fine:
@request.request_user_roles.joins(:request_role_types).merge(RequestRoleType.is_initiator)

Then I can get the User and the user’s Role from the RequestUserRole objects returned.