Marijuana vogters in Mississippi want to impeach justices

Mississippi Voters Want To Impeach Justices Who Overturned Medical Marijuana, Poll Shows

MISSISSIPPI — A strong majority of Mississippians oppose last week’s state Supreme Court decision striking down a voter initiative that approved medical marijuana and the entire process of allowing citizens to gather signatures to place an issue on the ballot for voters to decide.

The poll found strong support for Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special session to give legislators the opportunity to reverse the actions of the Supreme Court. While Reeves has not done that yet, a diverse set of politicians Republican Speaker Philip Gunn and Secretary of State Michael Watson, and Democratic Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley and House Democratic Leader Robert Johnson have voiced support for one. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, has not commented on whether he supports a special session.

Almost 70% of voters supported the Legislature approving a medical marijuana program that matches the one approved by voters in November. A plurality — 45% to 27.1% — support the impeachment of the Supreme Court justices who supported the ruling.

The poll was conducted soon after the decision was handed down by Mississippi-based Chism Strategies, which had also worked for the passage of the medical marijuana initiative approved by voters this past November.

The poll found that almost 61% of respondents opposed the Supreme Court decision. In addition, nearly 60% support the governor calling a special session on medical marijuana, while 20% oppose such an effort.

A strong majority of Mississippians oppose last week’s state Supreme Court decision striking down a voter initiative that approved medical marijuana and the entire process of allowing citizens to gather signatures to place an issue on the ballot for voters to decide.

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Of the 905 Mississippians polled, 69.3% voted in favor of medical marijuana this past November. The November ballot featured two medical marijuana initiatives: the citizen-sponsored proposal and a legislative alternative. The first question asked voters whether they approved either proposal. In November, 68.5% of voters said they did support one of the two, correlating closely to the 69.2% saying they voted in favor of medical marijuana.

The poll was of landline and cell phone users and was weighted to reflect likely 2022 general election results, meaning a majority of respondents normally vote Republican. The poll had a margin of error of 3.26%.

Brad Chism of Chism Strategies said he was surprised how many Mississippians knew about the Supreme Court ruling. “It is a brush fire. It crosses party lines. People are mad the court would do what they did,” Chism said.

The high court ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Madison and its Republican mayor, Mary Hawkins Butler, that alleged the initiative process should be voided because the Constitution requires the signatures to be gathered equally from five congressional districts as they were configured in 1990. In 2000, the state lost a U.S. House seat based on U.S. Census data, rendering it impossible to gather the signatures as mandated in the Constitution, the lawsuit argued.

This story was first published by Mississippi Today and is a part of a content sharing arrangement between The News Station and Marijuana Moment.

Bobby Harrison is Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter. His full bio is here.

Bobby Harrison is Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter. His full bio is here.

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