Initiative process changes unlikely to come before voters until November 2022.
The Mississippi Supreme Court will not rehear the Initiative 65 case where it struck down the state’s initiative process and invalidated the voter approved medical marijuana program.
Supporters of MEVI, Mississippi Early Voting Initiative 78, and Dr. David Allen, sponsor of Initiative 77, sought to intervene in the matter brought before the court by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler. The Mayor objected to that motion and the Court ruled against their request the filing came well after the deadline.
Further, the Court dismissed the request for rehearing, writing:
“The Court further finds that the Motion for Rehearing filed by MEVI 78 and Dr. David Allen and the Motion to Strike the Motion for Rehearing filed by Mary Hawkins Butler and the City of Madison should be dismissed as moot.”
Secretary of State Michael Watson said weeks ago that his office would not be seeking a rehearing by the Court.
“Based on previous case law and the 6-3 margin of the decision, we believe the request would be an unsuccessful effort,” Watson said in a release.
Governor Tate Reeves has indicated that he is willing to call a special session to implement a medical marijuana program if the Legislature can come to an agreement. Members of the Senate have been holding hearings in an effort to draft a bill in hopes of finding consensus with the House.
As for the initiative process, that debate is most likely to be taken up when the Legislature returns in January 2022 for regular session. Any potential change to the constitutional language regarding the ballot initiative process must go before voters in a statewide election. The next such election is not scheduled until November 2022.
You can read the full order for the Mississippi Supreme Court below.