Mississippi City Seeks to Invalidate State Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative

According to a Marijuana Business Daily (MBD) article published earlier this week, the City of Madison, Miss., hopes to knock a “business-friendly medical cannabis initiative” off the upcoming Nov. 3 election’s ballot. Reportedly, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler filed an emergency petition earlier this week challenging the medical use initiative.

According to a Marijuana Moment article covering the same development, the measure seeks to allow patients with debilitating medical issues to legally obtain marijuana with an accompanying physician recommendation. T­­he proposed measure lists 22 qualifying medical conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain, and would allow patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana per two week period.

Mississippians for Compassionate Care is the campaign behind the initiative. It has reportedly been confronted with numerous obstacles in the process of bringing the measure to the ballot. MBD reported that the mayor filed the petition with the Mississippi Supreme Court alleging that the ballot measure lacked the requisite number of signatures from congressional district representatives. The mayor argued that according to a 2009 legal opinion, the measure needs the endorsement of five legislators; it currently has four, the article reported.

According to Marijuana Moment, the mayor’s office explained that while it is not categorically opposed to reform, the current initiative violates the Mississippi Constitution’s procedural rules on citizen-driven measures. The same article reported that the state’s high court ordered the secretary of state’s office to file a response to the petition by Wednesday.

Marijuana Moment also noted that last week the Montana Supreme Court rejected a bid to invalidate a marijuana legalization measure in that state’s upcoming election. Contrastingly, Nebraska’s high court issued a ruling last month preventing a medical cannabis legalization bill from proceeding on the grounds that it violated the state’s single-subject rule for ballot initiatives, the article explained.