Here is why the regular folks don’t care much for politicians.
In 2020, nearly three-quarters of Mississippi voters elected to have a medical marijuana law. Imagine any group of people outside of a jury room where 75 percent of the people believe in the same thing? Mississippians wanted it. The only reason it appeared on the ballot is because of the Mississippi Legislature’s failure to do anything to make it happen.
Medical marijuana is no longer an experiment. The world is not ending. The film “Reefer Madness” was wild propaganda based on 1930s sensibilities. Cannabis will not lead to the destruction of Mississippi. In fact, it has legitimate medical use and provides relief for residents in 37 states legally and all the other states illegally.
But most decent people want to obey the law. They just want the law to change so they can have a natural substance that helps them handle certain medical conditions. We have all seen and read examples of the benefits for some.
Mississippians wanted it available to them and made their voices heard. That wouldn’t have happened if legislators had done their job and passed a medical marijuana law. But they didn’t and the people spoke.
Today, medical marijuana is unavailable in Mississippi.
So what happened? A loophole was exploited by longtime Madison mayor and failed state Auditor candidate Mary Hawkins Butler. The cynics in all of us should wonder how long the likes of the good Madison mayor have been sitting on this “nuclear option,” waiting for the right time to spring it. What were her motivations? Politicians have a way about them ...
And how frustrating it is that the will of 74 percent of the voting population of this state was sabotaged. Now, two weeks into the session, the politicians are dithering, not only on medical marijuana but fixing the travesty that allowed this to happen in the first place.
Even those who are against marijuana shouldn’t celebrate this as a victory.
Not like this. The ballot-initiative is a necessary tool for voters for issues just like this, which we are saddled with do-nothing lawmakers. The Mississippi Legislature has an obligation to the people who put them in office to do the people’s work. The people spoke and, like the swamp politics we despise, elected officials found a way around listening to those voters.
And politicians wonder why they are, overall, less popular than a broken leg.