Cannabis initiative petitioners face July deadline for signatures

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cannabis initiative petitioners face July deadline for signatures

By John Howell
Overshadowed in the conversation about Initiative 42 and Initiative 42A that Mississippi voters will find on this November’s ballot is the ongoing work to collect enough signatures to put another amendment question before voters in the November, 2016 General Election.

Initiative 48 would bring sweeping changes in Mississippi laws that prohibit marijuana, regulating instead it much like alcohol for adults.

Supporters from at least two organizations, Mississippi Alliance for Cannabis and Team Legalize, are trying to collect signatures from 107,000 of the states registered voters — 21,443 from each Congressional District — to put the proposal before Mississippi voters in the 2016 Presidential election, according to the web site 

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The initiative would not only legalize the use, cultivation and sale of cannabis but also industrial hemp.

Initiative 48 also calls for an amendment to the state constitution that would allow pardon of people presently or formerly imprisoned under non-violent cannabis violations and, in the court where such conviction occurred and at a judge’s discretion, expungement from the convicted person’s record.

“In order for BI 48 to appear on the 2016 presidential ballot, Mississippians must hurry and get their petitions certified by their Circuit Clerks no later than July 2015 so that they can all be submitted to the Secretary of State no later than the October 2, 2015 deadline,” according to a statement on the web site.

“If we do not have enough certified signatures … we can continue to collect signatures until our one year deadline on Dec. 29, 2015, but then BI 48 would be presented on the 2017 ballot.”