I'm not going to lie. I'm still pretty pissed off about the Mississippi Supreme Court decision yesterday. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. The more I contemplated the ramifications, the more infuriated I got. Ironic, isn't it, as I could've definitely benefitted from a joint right about then.
In yesterday's News, I wrote about but to catch everyone up, the state supreme court voted 6-3 in favor of a lawsuit that invalidated Initiative 65, the medical marijuana initiative. Despite passing with an overwhelming 3-4 majority, the judges ruled it invalid because the initiative process requires signatures from all five of Mississippi's U.S. Congressional districts and we ain't had five since 2000. The lawsuit was issued by Mary Hawkins Butler, the mayor of Madison for the past 40 years. Madison is a white-flight suburb of mostly black Jackson.
Butler's reasoning was that the initiative failed the five-district rule, but it's more likely that the city government of Madison gets a fairly solid chunk of any business' profits that sets up shop in city limits. From what I understand, most of it goes to the mayor's office side rather than the city council's side because the two hate each other. Of the judges, three are voted in and the other six were appointed by Republican governors but the vote was pretty bipartisan. That said, five of the six appointed judges voted against it.
So, the judges decided that since the state legislature hasn't gotten around to fix the law or the districts, the initiative process was null and void from here on out. This is weird, because we have a Voter ID law that passed via initiative, and no one bucked on that. It will be interesting to see if that becomes an issue, but I'm sure the state government will tell anyone who does to skip rope.
What makes things really interesting is there was an initiative going around to expand Medicaid coverage in the state and it's pretty popular, at least as popular as medical marijuana. That explains a lot, really. Voting in this state is extremely restrictive. One in nine citizens can't vote because they're ex-cons, and 60 percent of them are black. We can't do mail-in unless you have a "good reason" and a notary's signature. It's incredibly gerrymandered and up until last November, a governor had to win not only the popular vote but also a majority of the state's congressional district. That was an initiative, too.
And that explains it, really. The state government was fine with initiatives until the folk that live in the state start voting for things that actually make their lives better. Voter ID is fine. It makes voting just a wee bit harder, so that's fine. But getting folks to a point where they can afford healthcare and not burn themselves out on opioids? That's got to be nipped in the bud.
I said this on Twitter yesterday, but this isn't a bipartisan thing. Nor is a black or white thing or, for that matter a Protestant Christian or non-Protestant Christian thing. This state has a long, long history of wanting a Ruling Class and a Lower Class. It's burned into our cultural psyche. The whole country is like that, but Mississippi is worse. It's distilled down to its purest form. This is basically William Faulkner's whole oeuvre: people who step on folks to get to the top and the damage that causes for everyone.
Of course, this gives the rest of the country an opportunity to shit on us while they don't actually do anything to help. I don't think people get that. Since the 1890 state constitution, the non-Elite of this state has been up against the wall and told this how it's supposed to be. Outsiders say move when they really can't understand that most people would if they could, but the thumb's down on folks. And not everyone wants to leave the only home they've ever known. Help or piss off.
But I know they won't. Liberals or leftists, socialists or communists, none of them really, really give a shit about the people of Mississippi. White or black, doesn't matter, we deserve what we get because we can't push the thumb off us. I will say it again, but the most heartening thing I've seen since moving home is watching young people - especially young Black people - who are working to make the state a place to live rather than a place to be from. I just hope they realize there won't be any outside help.
Ah, well. I was looking forward to buying pot legally on a regular basis come August but I'm not really surprised the state of Mississippi bent over backward to make sure it didn't happen. I just want to get high and get my head out of gear, I'll be okay. I'm not dealing with cancer or constant pain or glaucoma or opioid addiction.
It's a bummer but it won't kill me. Okay, before I go, let's get this week's News in. Monday was the Liz Cheney drama along with another way the state of Mississippi is making life harder for its residents. Tuesday was the fallout of the Cheney-GOP fight, which I hope completely destroys the party and every conservative politician.
Yes, I am pissed off.