State high court to hear challenge to Initiative 65

Members of the House of Delegates expect it to pass.
Members of the House of Delegates expect it to pass.(Pixabay)
Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 4:15 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Weeks after voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 65, the Mississippi Supreme Court will determine whether the ballot initiative was constitutional.

The high court recently announced that it would take up a case brought by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler, who says the state Constitution was not followed in getting the initiative on the ballot.

The initiative allows citizens with any of 22 illnesses to get a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana.

More than 68 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the measure during the November 3 general election.

Butler, though, argued that the “constitutional process for amending our constitution has not been followed and the public has been misled about the contest of the initiative.”

In his order, Justice Josiah Dennis Coleman said the matter would be taken up by the court and, at the court’s discretion, be given preference over other civil cases.

The court also set a briefing schedule, requiring Mayor Butler to submit a brief on or before Monday, December 7. Michael Watson, the secretary of state, must file on or before December 28, 2020. Butler and the city of Madison must reply to that by January 7, 2021.

Any non-party seeking to file in support of Butler, or the city of Madison, must file no later than seven days after she files her initial brief, and those backing Watson must file no later than seven days after he files his first brief, the court order states.

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