Gov. Tate Reeves told a Jackson TV station that he’s a “long way” from calling a special session for lawmakers to address the Supreme Court-axed medical marijuana program.
A day after Republicans Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Speaker Philip Gunn made comments supporting a return to the Capitol to fix the issue, the state’s Republican governor said while he would consider a special session, it wasn’t a decision he was close to making.
On Tuesday, Hosemann said a special session may be “warranted” as he wanted to “get (medical marijuana) started” to help those who are sick.
Gunn said Monday that he wants lawmakers to come back to discuss reviving the state’s ballot initiative process.
Local Republican Rep. Nick Bain of Corinth said he would also like to see a special session to reinstate the program.
The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the medical marijuana initiative is void because Mississippi’s initiative process is outdated, essentially killing both the proposed medical marijuana program and the initiative process at once.
About 1.3 million people voted in Mississippi in November, and more than 766,000 of them voted in favor of Initiative 65.
On the failed initiative process Reeves told WAPT on Tuesday, “We have three branches of government, and it is the judicial branch’s job to interpret the law. I don’t know that I would have ruled one way or another, but I respect the court and the roles they play, and so now, it is incumbent on the legislative branch to come back and fix this process.”
Regarding medical marijuana, Reeves said, “The people have spoken. They made their voice heard and voted overwhelmingly to have a (medical marijuana) program and Mississippi should have that.”
The state health department was slated to launch the medical marijuana program this summer.
State lawmakers could also use a special session to determine how to spend the $1.8 billion COVID relief funds Mississippi is receiving this summer from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.