Mississippi: Supreme Court docket hears oral arguments to problem medical marijuana vote

The Mississippi Supreme Court hears oral argument today in a legal challenge aimed at overturning a November vote legalizing the manufacture and supply of medical cannabis to qualified patients.

On election day, 73 percent of Mississippi voters voted for Measure 65, which sets up a system of state-licensed pharmacies to retail cannabis and cannabis products to patients with medical authorization. Immediately prior to the vote, Madison City officials – including the city’s mayor – filed lawsuits, arguing that lawmakers ‘failure to update petitioners’ guidelines should invalidate the vote on the initiative.

In particular, state law requires petitioners to collect an equal percentage of signatures from five congressional districts. However, after the relocation in 2000, there are only four congressional districts in the state. Legislators have since failed to update the law.

Carly Wolf, manager of NORML state policy, criticized the legal challenge and asked the judges to maintain the vote on the initiative. “Opponents of legalization have shown time and again that they cannot succeed either in public opinion court or at the ballot box. So they are now calling on the judges to set aside the votes of over a million Americans to override the undisputed election results. Whether or not to support the legalization of marijuana, Americans should be outraged by these openly undemocratic tactics and the court should oppose them. “

If the vote is upheld by the court, Mississippi will: be the 36th state to legalize access to medicinal cannabis.

The case is Mary Hawkins Butler versus Michael Watson, Miss., 2020-IA-01199-SCT.

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