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MS Supreme Court to hear arguments in...

MS Supreme Court to hear arguments in Madison Mayor’s case against Initiative 65 come April

By: Sarah Ulmer - January 29, 2021

In April the Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the constitutional challenge by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler against Initiative 65, the Medical Marijuana Program passed by voters in November.

According to the Madison County Journal, the official date was set for April 14 at 10:30 a.m. You will be able to watch the arguments presented HERE.

The appeal was officially made in October by Hawkins-Butler, challenging the amount of signatures the Initiative received to be placed on the ballot. She argued that it was put before voters unconstitutionally as it only required the set amount of signatures in a four congressional district make up, when Mississippi’s Constitution still operates on a five congressional district model.

RELATED: Madison files emergency petition claiming Initiative 65 was improperly certified 

The mayor is arguing in the appeal that the Mississippi Constitution itself provides that a petition by voters proposing an amendment to the constitution must have no more than 20 percent of its required signatures from each of the state’s congressional districts. The amount of signatures collected would not have reached 20 percent in a five congressional district model.
The decision for the argument to go to the Mississippi Supreme Court came just after the November election.
However, even current Secretary of State Michael Watson said he believes the initiative was certified properly under his predecessor Delbert Hosemann.
Watson’s response noted that even if their interpretative argument is correct, Madison’s action is “woefully untimely,” writing, “They could have asserted their so-called ‘procedural’ challenge years ago, and certainly when former-Secretary of State Hosemann officially filed Initiative Measure 65 in September 2019.”
As it stands now, the medical marijuana program is set to go into effect by August of 2021.


About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah:
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