Mississippi Medical Marijuana Measure At Risk After House Approves Alternate Ballot Question

Mississippi Medical Marijuana Measure At Risk After House Approves Alternate Ballot Question

A ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi suffered a blow on Tuesday after the House passed a resolution to include an alternative measure on the November ballot that could result in a less robust program for patients who need cannabis. Reform advocates grew concerned after lawmakers introduced a series of alternative resolutions in recent weeks. If more than one legalization measure appears on the ballot, there’s also a significant risk that the vote will be split and none will be approved. More than 200,000 signatures were collected to put Initiative 65 before voters. The alternative is regarded as more restrictive and prone to legislative interpretation, and advocates suspect the primary reason for its introduction was to kill the original, more far-reaching initiative by confusing voters. The House approved the alternate version it in a 71-49 vote. It now heads to the Senate, where it’s also expected to advance. HCR 39 passes 71-49. #msleg — Mississippi House of Representatives (@MSHouseOfRep) March 10, 2020 According to advocates, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) took a personal interest in ensuring that the chamber approved the alternative, pressuring members to fall in line. But that wasn’t the only force behind the push to defeat the initiative by putting a second measure on the ballot. The owner of an Arkansas cannabis cultivation business hired Mississippi-based lobbyists to oppose Initiative 65. Advocates alleged that the owner was hoping to get legalization legislation approved that’s more amenable to his business interests. A lawyer for the individual…

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Source : MJ moment
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