The Mississippi Supreme Court recently overturned Initiative 65, which would have established a strong medical marijuana program in Magnolia, with a shocking ruling that surprised marijuana supporters across the country.
Support for medical marijuana under Initiative 65
The court’s 6-3 decision invalidated the efforts of a citizen-led initiative, which was balloted with over 214,000 signatures and overwhelmingly approved by those who accounted for 74% of the votes. Such widespread support for legal cannabis is unprecedented in the South, but the screams of Mississippi voters did not listen to the State Supreme Court.
Ken Newberger, Managing Director of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Association, lamented: “The Mississippian Supreme Court has just overturned the will of the Mississippian people. Patients will now continue to suffer by resolving the end of so many Mississippian cultures.”
Initiative 65, with voter support everywhere, created an effective medical marijuana program accessible to patients throughout the state. Established business owners and start-up entrepreneurs are in the process of licensing marijuana facilities, and state regulators frequently announce the rules and regulations that will be enforced in the program. With such positive momentum and widespread support, who challenged the initiative in the first place?
Mayor Madison, enemy of marijuana
Mary Hawkins Butler — widely known as the “Mayor of Mary” —is one of the longest-serving mayors in American history.She quarreled with others and ruled Madison (a small suburb of Jackson) with an iron fist for almost 30 years. City officialsHandle household budget scandal, And forces Madison’s business owner to comply with the ideal storefront specifications for her own cookie cutter. She integrates as many local controls as possible. She also hates weeds.
Her unruly view of marijuana is similar to a movie, Reefer Madness, She articulated her complete misunderstanding about medical marijuana and the potential positive economic and public health benefits it could bring to her community. While announcing her proceedings against her initiative 65, she characterized her actions as fighting to keep the “pot shop” away from her city. What we can do to protect the future of our citizens, schools, plans, and Madison. Cities cannot set zones where pot shops can be placed. They have blank checks to do what they want when zoning our community. “
Medical Marijuana and Mississippi Initiative Process
Obviously, Hawkins Butler’s problem with the initiative stems from a misunderstanding of marijuana and the loss of complete zoning control over medical marijuana dispensing facilities. Nevertheless, her discussion in the proceedings aroused the expertise of the initiative process by considering the entire process as “broken.” She argues that signature collection requirements are mathematically impossible in four parliamentary districts, and initiative certification is based on the state’s previous five parliamentary districts, not the current four parliamentary districts. did.
Unfortunately for Mississippi patients and supporters of the voting initiative process, the State Supreme Court has agreed with Hawkins Butler.
“The drafters of Section 273 (3), whether intentional, oversighted, or otherwise, have created a voting initiation process that does not work in a world where the Mississippi referendum is less than five.” Said Judge Josiah Coleman: The majority of the ruling party on Friday. “In order to work in today’s reality, we need to fix it — something beyond the power of the Supreme Court.”
Due to the state’s initiative process being outdated, the judge finally decided that Initiative 65 was invalid. When the initiative process was listed as Article 273 in the State Constitution in the 1990s, Mississippi had five parliamentary districts. The law required petitioners to obtain one-fifth of their signatures from each parliamentary district. However, after the 2000 census, the state shrank to four districts and the wording of the law was not updated.
The Supreme Court’s ruling has broader implications than Mississippi’s medical marijuana. Judges have also questioned voting initiatives in other states, including previously passed initiatives and those currently engaged in the signature collection process, as the judge found the outdated state initiative process to be unconstitutional. increase. One initiative approved by voters in November would have removed the image of the South Army flag from the Mississippi flag. Unfortunately, Mississippi currently remains in a small number of states without medical marijuana, and remains in the past as represented by Dixie’s land.
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