Organizers are seeking to unify all of the interested parties to push for a special session.
A Facebook group has formed called “We are the 74” urging supporters of Initiative 65 to unite and protest the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that overturned the medical marijuana initiative due to the flawed process used to get it on the ballot.
The “74” is a reference to the percentage by which Initiative 65 passed on the ballot in the November 2020 General Election. Currently, just over 800 members are in the group.
The state high court ruled on Friday that the initiative process under the current law could not be used to bring forward ballot initiatives given that the state no longer has five Congressional Districts.
This new group – “We are the 74” – announced on Monday via their Facebook page that they would be holding a rally at the Governor’s mansion at 9AM on Tuesday, May 25th.
“We will gather to voice our frustration over the Supreme Court’s decision to crush our initiative process, but also to strongly encourage our governor to make the right decision and call a special session,” Donnie Collins states. “This affects all Mississippians! More info to come, so stay tuned! In the meantime, continue to contact your local and state representatives and voice your frustration. Keep the faith! We will be HEARD!”
Collins and Zach Wilson are listed as the page administrators.
The group says they are there to fight for their constitutional, God-given rights and “unify against corruption of all kind! Common people with a common goal.”
Wilson stated in a post on Sunday that members are asked to flood the phone lines in Jackson to put the heat on Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session and have the legislators uphold the “will of the people.”
“Make it be known that #wearethe74 are not just the 74% but we are the 100% of Mississippians that were completely let down by Friday’s ruling. I know people are hard at work creating templates now to make emailing and calling much easier and faster,” Wilson posted. “When we mean #turnupontate we mean don’t let up. Email or call anytime you have a free minute. This decision came out on a Friday evening when nothing could be done. They were hoping we would go home over the weekend and calm down and forget about this. We must push back and let them know all dropping this on a Friday evening did was allow us to get over the initial shock of this and make us even madder. We demand to be heard and we demand what is our will.”
As of this article, there has been no word from the Governor’s office as to whether a special session was being considered at this time. Multiple legislators have shared their thoughts on social media since the ruling stating that they expect the issue to be one of the first items tackled in the 2022 session that starts in January if a special session is not called before then.
The Mississippi Department of Health was tasked with implementing the medical marijuana program based on the language in the Initiative 65 constitutional amendment. MSDH has been working to establish production, regulation and licensing structures in time for the target start date of August 15th of this year. Initiative 65 required that regulations for all aspects of the program, including production and licensing for sale, has to be in place by July 1, 2021.