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Mississippi lawmakers want to revive initiatives, marijuana program

In a state Supreme Court ruling Friday, justices tossed the marijuana initiative, calling the state's initiative process outdated.
Credit: goodmanphoto - stock.adobe.com

JACKSON, Miss — UPDATE 5/18/2021 - Some Mississippi lawmakers say they want Gov. Tate Reeves to call them back to the Capitol for a special session to revive the state's initiative process. 

Others want a chance to quickly revive discussion of a medical marijuana program. 

The state Supreme Court ruled that the medical marijuana initiative is void because Mississippi's initiative process is outdated. 

House Speaker Philip Gunn said if the legislature does not act on an issue the people of Mississippi want, the people need a mechanism to change the law.

Reeves said he is still reviewing the case and hasn't made a decision about a special session.

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5/14/2021 - The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a medical marijuana initiative that voters approved in November.

In their ruling Friday, justices also said the state's initiative process is outdated.

Initiative 65 required the state Health Department to create a medical marijuana program by midyear. The department has been working on that.

Legal arguments were more about the initiative process than medical marijuana.

A lawsuit by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler argued Mississippi's initiative process is outdated, so Initiative 65 should not have been on the ballot. 

State attorneys argued that signatures for Initiative 65 were properly gathered from five old congressional districts.