Mississippi Supreme Court to hear case regarding Initiative 65 objection

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MADISON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Supreme Court will proceed with the case of Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler vs. Secretary of State Michael Watson in the coming months.

This comes after the City of Madison and Mayor Hawkins Butler filed an emergency petition before the Mississippi Supreme Court stating that Initiative 65 was unconstitutionally placed on the ballot in November.

Attorneys believe the state is using a “Zombie Law” about old congressional districts to defend how Initiative 65 was voted on. The initiative requires the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) to establish a medical marijuana program by the middle of this year.

Meanwhile, Mayor Butler seeks to block the program, arguing that Mississippi’s initiative process is outdated because the state constitution says petitioners must gather an equal number of signatures from five congressional districts.

According to Associated Press, attorneys representing Secretary of State Michael Watson argued on Dec. 28 that the five old districts “may be used for anything but congressional elections,” including for gathering signatures for initiatives.

The oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at 10:30 a.m.

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