September 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 262

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September 17, 2021

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September 16, 2021

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Update on Medical Marijuana in Mississippi: COURT VOIDS INITIATIVE 65

The Mississippi Medical Marijuana program will not go forward – at least not at this time. On Friday, the Mississippi Supreme Court handed down its decision in the City of Madison’s challenge to Initiative 65, Mary Hawkins Butler v. Michael Watson, 2020-IA-01199-SCT. The court’s decision voids Initiative 65’s ballot certification and any subsequent proceeding, including the November 3, 2020, election results.

The Mississippi Constitution requires that no more than one-fifth of the total signatures to place an initiative on the ballot may come from any one congressional district. According to the court, it is mathematically impossible to collect the correct proportion of signatures. The court, “remaining mindful” of “a strong, if not overwhelming, majority” of Mississippi voters that approved Initiative 65, nonetheless held that the loss of congressional representation in 1991 did, indeed, break the Mississippi Constitution’s ballot initiative process so that, absent amendment, it no longer functions.

With this ruling, a Mississippi Medical Marijuana program can be legalized in only two ways: (1) the Mississippi Legislature can enact a Medical Marijuana program through legislation, if signed into law by the governor; or (2) the Mississippi Legislature can amend the Mississippi Constitution to fix the broken initiative clause and the Mississippi citizens can redo the initiative process, which would require an additional statewide vote.

© 2021 Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 134
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Slates Veazey Construction Litigation Attorney Bradley Law Firm
Partner

Slates Veazey represents clients in all types of litigation, with a particular emphasis on construction and insurance coverage disputes. Slates’ construction practice involves representing owners and general contractors in a variety of issues and projects, both public and private. Slates, who is licensed in both Texas and Mississippi, has experience managing construction disputes across the United States, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. This experience includes prosecuting and defending delay, extra work, impact, and inefficiency claims on public and private...

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Jonathan Barnes Litigation Attorney Barnes Law Firm
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Jonathan Barnes is an associate in Bradley’s Litigation Practice Group. He received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and his B.A. in History from Belhaven University. Prior to joining the firm, Jonathan clerked for the Hon. Leslie H. Southwick on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for the Hon. Daniel P. Jordan III on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

601.592.9926
Whitt Steineker Cannabis Attorney Bradley Birmingham
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Whitt Steineker has devoted his legal career to representing companies that provide a wide range of goods and services. He provides clients of all types with litigation counsel, transactional advice, and practical strategies for growth. Whitt advises clients of all sizes—from multinational corporations to local businesses—in transactional and litigation matters in jurisdictions across the country and around the world.

As co-chair of Bradley’s Cannabis Industry team, Whitt represents clients on a wide range of cannabis issues. In addition to...

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