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‘We’re tired of being put on the backburner’: Initiative 65 advocates plan to gather at Mississippi Supreme Court

Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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SAUCIER, Miss. (WLOX) - People across the state are lobbying for change after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65.

According to the 2020 election results, 74% of Mississippians voted for the initiative and that percentage of voters are making their opinions known, including one Saucier man.

Donnie Collins said he was shocked when he heard the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65. He supports medical marijuana because he said there are so many benefits.

“Migraines, autoimmune disorders, fight cancer,” said Collins. “I mean, it’s an amazing plant.”

Collins is an Army vet and said he suffers from pain and spine injuries. His wife also has a severe autoimmune disorder which causes chronic migraines.

“We are not stoners; we are people looking for relief,” said Collins.

Collins said the only type of relief the couple has is pharmaceutical medicine that drains their pockets.

“There’s no reason that someone should have to pay 20 - no, I’m sorry - $80,000 a year for migraine relief when we have a plant that God put on this planet that’s accessible if our politicians would just get out of the way.”

Collins said he was disappointed in the court’s ruling but doesn’t feel defeated.

“I was indignant,” said Collins. “I was like, well this isn’t going to fly.”

That’s why Collins formed ‘We are the 74,′ an advocacy group filled with city officials and legislators.

“The constituents of the state voted for it loudly and clearly,” said Collins. “We’re tired of being put on the backburner.”

Collins said the group plans to rally outside the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday to address the court’s decision and state constitutional issues with ballot initiatives.

He said if the voter ID initiative passed with constitutional language issues, so can the medical marijuana initiative.

“When term limits are up for an initiative process and there’s medical marijuana up being passed into law and put in our state constitution... And they say, ‘Well, it’s no longer valid.’ That’s not acceptable.”

Collins said ‘We are 74′ has a to-do list for state legislators.

“I want to see people in Mississippi represented well by their representatives,” said Collins. “I want to see Mississippians feel confident in their legislation process.”

Collins says ‘We are 74″ are members are ready to fight for the rights of the people. To follow updates from the group, click here.

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