420 with CNW — Mississippi Supreme Court Nullifies Voter-Approved Medical Cannabis Ballot Measure

May 18, 2021 15:25:19

The Supreme Court in Mississippi has overturned an initiative passed by state voters to legalize medical cannabis. This ruling was made on Friday after a mayor challenged the legalization initiative in court.

While the complaint against the amendment didn’t raise any objections against the contents of the voter initiative, the plaintiffs took issue with the procedure under which the measure was certified by the state secretary of state.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court observed that it noticed that an overwhelming number of voters supported the proposed constitutional amendment. However, the court was left with no choice but to uphold the suit filed by the mayor of the city of Madison on the ground that statutory requirements were not adhered to before the measure was certified for inclusion on the 2020 ballot.

The petition was premised on a law that stipulated that for any initiative to qualify for inclusion on the ballot, it should be supported by Congressional district voter signatures, which are no more than one-fifth of all signatures required to get the measure certified. That particular law was passed at a time when Mississippi had five Congressional districts; however, currently, the state only has four such districts. In short, it is currently impossible to abide by that law if any initiative that seeks to amend the state constitution is to stand a chance of being certified.

State officials, including the secretary of state, strongly argued that the spirit of the law cited was to make sure that support for any constitutional amendment was spread out throughout the state, and that the support for initiative 65 met that requirement.

Nevertheless, the majority of the justices of the Supreme Court (six out of nine) ruled that their hands were tied as the law had to be followed when passing the amendment. They advised that while the Supreme Court couldn’t fix that procedural issue, the administration or the legislature had the power to assess the practicality of that law and then make the necessary changes.

Marijuana advocates expressed regret that the case ended the way it did, and the Medical Marijuana Association of Mississippi said it was sad that patients who had hoped to access medical cannabis soon would have to continue suffering since the will of voters had been thwarted.

Many other cannabis initiatives have suffered defeat before state Supreme Courts. For example, a proposed 2022 Florida initiative was annulled by the Supreme Court while a 2020 initiative in Nebraska was also voided by the highest court in the state before the November ballot.

These temporary setbacks in the legalization movement are unlikely to discourage sector players such as Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: GLH) (OTCQB: GLDFF) regarding the eventual possibility of federal cannabis policy reform.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: GLH) (OTCQB: GLDFF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GLDFF

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