Philip Gunn: I support special session to protect initiative process in Mississippi

Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, wears a new state flag face mask during a meeting of the House...
Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, wears a new state flag face mask during a meeting of the House Rules Committee at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., during the first day of the 2021 Mississippi Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 3:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Speaker of the House has thrown his support behind a special session to protect Mississippi’s initiative process.

This after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65, a medical marijuana initiative widely supported by the voters of Mississippi.

“We 100% believe in the right of the people to use the initiative and referendum process to express their views on public policy,” Gunn wrote in a press lease Monday. “If the legislature does not act on an issue that the people of Mississippi want, then the people need a mechanism to change the law.

I support the Governor calling us into a special session to protect this important right of the people.”

The Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association called the ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court “devastating” and that “it’s a sad day for Mississippi when the Supreme Court communicates to a vast majority of the voters that their vote doesn’t matter.”

According to the court, the procedure for getting Initiative 65 on the November ballot was unconstitutional.

Hours after the ruling, Gov. Tate Reeves released a statement saying that “like most Mississippians” he is both “interested and intrigued” by the court’s decision and that he and his team are digesting the opinion.

Reeves said he would not making any further comment until their analysis is complete.

The court’s decision could have implications for other initiatives passed under the same process that justices now say is unconstitutional.

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