In response to a City of Madison legal filing contesting the legitimacy of the medical marijuana initiative, Medical Marijuana 2020 released the following statement:
More than 228,000 Mississippians signed petitions to put Initiative 65 on the ballot for voters to have the opportunity to vote for a safe and regulated medical marijuana program. The Secretary of State validated more than 105,000 of those signatures in January of 2020, officially placing Initiative 65 on the ballot for the November 3rd election.
In placing Initiative 65 on the ballot, the Secretary of State followed a 2009 opinion of the Mississippi Attorney General which stated, “The Secretary of State should require that 20% of the signatures of an initiative petition be from each of the “old” five congressional districts as they existed immediately prior to the adoption of the four current congressional districts.”
“The Secretary of State properly qualified Initiative 65 under the same constitutional procedures used for every other successful voter initiative. The lawsuit from the City of Madison is meritless,” said Mississippians for Compassionate Care Communications Director Jamie Grantham. “This is simply a last-ditch effort by political and bureaucratic opponents to deny relief to patients with 22 specific debilitating medical conditions.”
The question of whether to establish a medical marijuana program in Mississippi will appear on the November 3rd general election ballot. Voters will be faced with a two-part question, where they will be asked to choose between two competing measures. Voters will first have the option to select “yes” to approve either measure for a medical marijuana program in Mississippi or “no” to oppose both measures. Voters will then have the option to choose between INITIATIVE 65, put on the ballot by the people through the initiative process, or Alternative 65A, placed on the ballot by politicians.
34 states currently have medical marijuana programs and more than 3.5 million patients are successfully using medical marijuana to treat debilitating conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, and PTSD.
INITIATIVE 65 is supported by a steering committee of more than 70 medical and health care professionals, leaders of disease groups, law enforcement representatives, leaders in the faith community, and veterans. INITIATIVE 65 includes a program start date and a specific list of 22 qualifying debilitating medical conditions, while Alternative 65A leaves it to politicians to decide who would qualify and when, if ever, they would establish a program and how it would function.
To learn more about INITIATIVE 65 and the differences in the two measures, visit www.medicalmarijuana2020.com.