Mississippi And South Dakota Officials Defend Marijuana Ballot Measures Against Legal Challenges

MJ moment

Government officials from two traditionally conservatives states are defending voter-approved marijuana reform initiatives against legal challenges. The secretaries of state, along with the attorneys general, from both Mississippi and South Dakota recently filed responses to lawsuits seeking to invalidate their states’ measures legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, respectively. Mississippi Prior to Election Day, the mayor of the city of Madison, Mississippi asked the state Supreme Court to nullify the cannabis reform measure because, she argued, it was unlawfully placed before voters. The suit did not weigh in on the merits of the proposal itself. But while the plaintiff argued that the legalization proposal was invalid because of a state statute that dictates the percentage of signatures required per district to qualify a ballot initiative, the attorney general’s office submitted a filing on Monday for Secretary of State Michael Watson that contests the basis of the suit. Last month, in an earlier round of briefs, the officials characterized the legal challenge as “woefully untimely.” Madison’s challenge cites a state law stipulating that “signatures of the qualified electors from any congressional district shall not exceed one-fifth (1/5) of the total number of signatures required to qualify an initiative petition for placement upon the ballot.” But that policy went into effect when Mississippi had five congressional districts, and that’s since been reduced to four, making it mathematically impossible to adhere to. In the latest filing, the attorney general said the “City’s claimed standing is disconnected from the only alleged injury at issue and properly before this Court: an alleged procedural injury, shared only by citizens and electors, allegedly caused by a perceived flaw in the signature gathering requirements of the initiative petition process.” The top official further argued that while “four congressional districts exist in Mississippi under a federal injunction for congressional…

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Source : Mississippi And South Dakota Officials Defend Marijuana Ballot Measures Against Legal Challenges

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