Police, KKK Intimidate Marijuana Activists in Mississippi

Police, KKK Intimidate Marijuana Activists in Mississippi



On December 29, 2014, the Mississippi Secretary of State issued the official title and summary of Ballot Initiative #48, a measure that if passed by voters would legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol in Mississippi.  Kelly Jacobs is a long-time political activist in Mississippi and primary sponsor of the initiative, but today Jacobs filed a letter with the Mississippi Secretary of State that outlines a variety of problems she and volunteers are having collecting signatures.  Below is an audio interview with Kelly Jacobs and a few excerpts from the letter sent to the Mississippi Secretary of State, Mississippi ACLU, National ACLU, Department of Justice, and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood … listen … (21:17) …



Excerpts from the letter Kelly Jacobs sent to the Mississippi Secretary of State:


“City Officials have denied the use of public buildings and Public Library Officials have denied the use of Public Libraries in violation of the published regulations for use of these public buildings.”


“Police Officers in various cities have threatened to arrest volunteers who are gathering signatures on a petition (for solicitation, disturbing the peace) and for displaying a sign that advertised the purpose of our petition. In one town, Police Officers threatened to arrest volunteers who were collecting petition signatures on a public street on the grounds that it was a private street.”


“Police Officers in one town ordered volunteers to remove t-shirts displaying information about the subject our petition or be arrested. The Election Commissioner in Hernando advised the poll manager that she could deny me the right to vote unless I removed my t-shirt displaying information about the subject of our petition, which was not on the ballot.”


“In front of the DeSoto County Courthouse, two members of a Mississippi Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan told me to stop collecting signatures with a veiled threat of future action if I didn’t stop. Because this was their second visit, I took their calling card they gave me to the Hernando Police station where I filed a report.”


“I mail a letter to every citizen whose signature has been rejected, to let them know that they might no longer be registered to vote. Some Circuit Clerks refuse to indicate which signatures are accepted on the petitions returned to me even after I faxed a request to please indicate which signatures have been accepted/rejected. The purpose of my letter is to get their constituents back onto the voter rolls.”


“One Circuit Clerk rejected a petition, writing that it was a copy when it clearly was an original. I put water onto one signature so the ink would run, to demonstrate that I had not mailed her a copy, this same Circuit Clerk rejected a petition claiming a small mark on the back page was blood. On the advice from your staff, I returned that petition with clear strapping tape over the mark but neither petition has been returned to me. One Circuit Clerk wrote on the petition that she could not read the cursive signature, and rejected the petition even though the printed name was clearly legible. I called to ask if the printed name was a registered voter and when I was told that she was, I returned that petition and it was certified.”