Mississippi won’t challenge state high court ruling on medical marijuana

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Mississippi’s secretary of state said he won’t push the Supreme Court justices to change their minds on a ruling that invalidated a voter-approved ballot measure from 2020 that legalized medical marijuana.

According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State Michael Watson said that instead, he’ll urge Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special session of the Legislature to fix the technicality on which the initiative was thrown out.

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the initiative had to be invalidated because the state’s out-of-date ballot measure system requires signatures from five congressional districts, one of which no longer exists. Mississippi has only had four congressional districts since the 2000 Census and the redistricting process that followed it.

So Watson is urging Reeves and Mississippi lawmakers to update the ballot measure process to ensure that future initiatives aren’t thrown out for the same reason.

“Rather than giving a sense of false hope and spending taxpayer dollars to no avail, I strongly encourage the governor to reconvene the Legislature in an effort to quickly preserve the will of Mississippians on a few important issues,” the secretary of state said.

Watson further added he believes lawmakers should consider establishing a medical marijuana program, given the overwhelming popularity of the MMJ ballot measure, which passed with 74% support from voters.

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hoseman and House Speaker Philip Gunn have also said they support the governor calling a special session.