Medical marijuana advocate reacts to court’s decision on Initiative 65

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 9:52 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Mississippi Supreme Court announced Thursday it will not hold a rehearing on Initiative 65. It’s just the latest disappointing decision for those who support medical marijuana in Mississippi, according to advocate and former mayor of Ocean Springs Shea Dobson.

“I think the people are just frankly disappointed and angry at everything that has been going on in Jackson,” Dobson said.

In November, the ballot initiative was overwhelmingly supported by Mississippi voters. More than 50% of voters voted yes for medical marijuana, and of those, 74% voted yes on Initiative 65. However, in May the State Supreme Court overturned the voters’ decision to pass the initiative. The court ruled the state’s ballot initiative process was unconstitutional, thus making the passing of Initiative 65 null and void.

Many have protested the decision and even called on Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session to discuss the issue. He has declined to do so.

Dobson says right now proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in the state are frustrated.

“I hope that the legislators understand that and understand that the trust in our government and the trust in our Legislature and the [Mississippi] Supreme Court is probably at an all-time low right now. They need to do everything they can to regain the trust of Mississippians and our government,” he said.

With no plans for a special session to discuss the issue of medical marijuana, we may see no action on the issue until lawmakers return in January.

Dobson says he plans to dedicate his time to advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana by working with fellow advocates and legislators in Jackson.

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