A majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis, at least for medical purposes, and the numbers show it. In Mississippi, for instance, voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state. The win was, however, overturned by the state Supreme Court after a city mayor filed a legal challenge against the citizens’ initiative, arguing that it violated procedural rules laid out by the constitution.
According to a poll undertaken shortly after the ruling went public, Mississippi voters are in favor of impeaching the judges who overturned the medical marijuana ballot initiative. Mississippi-based Chism Strategies, which had provided help to supporters of the now-void voters’ initiative, conducted the study. The company found that 60.9% of Mississippi voters were against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the initiative and entirely do away with the process of gathering signatures to allow voters to decide issues at the ballot.
Only 22% of the respondents supported the ruling while 59.6% felt that Miss. Governor Tate Reeves should call a special session to discuss medical marijuana. The thought of holding such a session has been on many people’s minds since the ruling, with inside sources saying that some lawmakers have already mentioned the issue to the governor’s office. House Speaker Phillip Gunn has voiced his support for a special session, stating that he believes that voters have the right to use the referendum and initiative process as it gives them a direct say in public policy issues.
More than 69% of the Mississippi residents polled had voted in favor of the medical cannabis initiative while 25.2% voted against it. The poll, which was conducted over mobile with landline and cell phone users, had a marginal error of 3.26%. According to Brad Chism from Chism Strategies, support for the medical cannabis ballot initiative was bipartisan with both Republicans and Democrats reacting with shock to the Supreme Court’s decision.
In fact, 52% of those polled revealed that they were “much” or “somewhat” less likely to vote for a lawmaker who supported legalizing medical marijuana in the state while under 30% were “much” or “somewhat” more likely to support a candidate who opposed medical marijuana. Additionally, 69.7% of Mississippi voters supported the idea of the legislature allowing a medical cannabis program similar to the one initiated by the voter-passed ballot initiative.
The decision to overturn the 2019 ballot initiative came after Mary Hawkins, mayor of the city of Madison, filed a lawsuit alleging that some procedural rules for placing measures on the ballot had been violated. The Supreme Court obliged and voided the medical marijuana initiative.
Cannabis industry actors such as The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) may empathize with the voters in Mississippi who saw their ballot decision go up in smoke on a technicality.
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