The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that challenges Initiative 65, the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana program. But in a visit to “The Gallo Show” this morning, Attorney General Lynn Fitch said the case is really about protecting the rights of Mississippians to amend the constitution, and not about the substance.
“If you look at how the law is written, it says you look at the petition based on five congressional districts. This met the letter of the law. The Secretary of State approved it. We have four congressional districts now, but it’s semantics, we’re talking about just the numbers. But they all met the criteria and the requirements to be able to move forward,” Fitch stated.
The city of Madison and its mayor, Mary Hawkins Butler, filed a lawsuit opposing the medical marijuana constitutional amendment just days before voters overwhelmingly endorsed medical marijuana in November. Butler argues that the way the question reached the ballot was improper. She opposed Initiative 65 because it limits a city’s ability to regulate the location of medical marijuana businesses.
Fitch says voters went to the polls with the expectation that their vote would be counted. And she’s concerned about what could happen if the court rules the other way. “It would void a number of issues that are important to all Mississippians. Eminent domain. Voter I.D.”
As the legal battle rages, the Mississippi State Department of Health is working toward an August deadline to set up the program.