A Mississippi mayor is challenging one of the state’s two medical cannabis ballot measures with the state supreme court, according to an AP News report.
Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler filed the complaint Oct. 27, just one week before Election Day, to challenge the petition process that qualified Initiative 65 for the ballot, the news outlet reported.
Butler alleges that the number of signatures gathered does not meet standards set in the state’s constitution, according to AP News, but Mississippians for Compassionate Care, the supporters of Initiative 65, have said that their petition process met not only the requirements set by the constitution, but also those established by a 2009 attorney general’s opinion.
“The Secretary of State properly qualified Initiative 65 under the same constitutional procedures used for every other successful voter initiative,” Jamie Grantham, a spokeswoman for Mississippians for Compassionate Care, told the news outlet. “The lawsuit from the City of Madison is meritless.”
The Mississippi initiative process mandates that petitioners can gather no more than one-fifth of the required number of signatures from any one congressional district, AP News reported.
In 2009, the Mississippi attorney general’s office issued a legal opinion that the secretary of state should require an equal number of signatures from each of the state’s original five congressional districts, which were decreased to four after the 200 census, AP New reported.
In her complaint, Butler argues that it is “a mathematical certainty” that more than one-fifth of the signatures to qualify Initiative 65 for the ballot came from at least one of the state’s four congressional districts, according to the news outlet.
State legislators have introduced a competing medical cannabis measure, Alternative 65A, which is also set to appear on Mississippi’s ballot next week.