Mississippi Defends Medical Marijuana Initiative Against ‘Baseless’ Suit

The attorney general’s office filed arguments Dec. 28th

A mayor’s lawsuit is making baseless arguments as it seeks to overturn a medical marijuana initiative that Mississippi voters approved, state attorneys said in court papers filed Monday.

Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler filed the lawsuit in late October. She opposed Initiative 65 because it limits cities’ ability to regulate the location of medical marijuana businesses.

Voters on Nov. 3 approved Initiative 65 by a wide margin, but the court fight continues.

The attorney general’s office filed arguments Dec. 28 on behalf of Secretary of State Michael Watson, attacking the premise of Butler’s lawsuit. Butler argues that the initiative process in the Mississippi Constitution is outdated because it requires petitioners to gather an equal number of signatures from five congressional districts.

Mississippi dropped from five congressional districts to four after the 2000 Census. Butler argues that this creates a mathematical impossibility: With four districts, more than one-fifth of the signatures must come from each.

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