Mississippi Supreme Court Set to Hear Oral Arguments in Medical Cannabis Case

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The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler that challenges the initiative process that legalized medical cannabis in the state, according to an AP News report.

The court issued an order Jan. 28 that schedules the hearing for April 14, the news outlet reported.

Butler filed the complaint in late October, just one week before Election Day, to challenge the petition process that qualified Initiative 65, the state’s medical cannabis legalization measure, for the ballot.

The measure, which voters ultimately approved, requires the Mississippi State Department of Health to implement a medical cannabis program by the middle of this year, AP News reported, but Butler’s lawsuit seeks to block the program, arguing that the proposal should not have been on Mississippi’s ballot in the first place because the initiative process is outdated.

According to the state constitution, petitioners must collect and equal number of signatures from five congressional districts, according to AP News, but Mississippi only has four congressional districts following the 2000 Census. In her lawsuit, Butler argues that with four districts, more than one-fifth of the signatures must come from each, the news outlet reported.

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