Medical Marijuana: Which proposal will Miss. voters choose?

MISSISSIPPI — Should marijuana be legal for medical purposes in Mississippi? That is a question that voters will decide in this Fall’s election.

Some members of the law enforcement community and the medical community have big concerns about what will happen if medical marijuana passes.

Those who are against Initiative 65 believed it left dispensaries with very little regulation and basically does little more than legalize pot and cause problems.

“This will rewrite your constitution and it says that they can sell this within 500 feet of that school out there, this is not about compassionate care. This is about addiction for profit,” said Joey East, Lafayette County Sheriff.

East was among the most impassioned speakers at a news conference in Oxford against the initiative.

“This is not about helping those with chronic illnesses or helping them, what it is about is greed and it’s about money and it’s about power,” East said.

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The sheriff didn’t think medical marijuana wouldn’t do anything for the community.

“It will do nothing for us but line the pockets of those who are trying to get it passed,” East said.

Jay Sprouse of Greenwood said “Law is the law but it’s going to be legal one day, it’s going to be legal everywhere you can’t stop it.”

Still, the pro-pot lobby has support.

Organizers needed more than 80,000 signatures to get it on the ballot and got nearly 200,000 signatures.

Supporters of Initiative 65 said that the state of Mississippi were making the ballot complicated and trying to misconstrue information.

Jamie Grantham is with Medical Marijuana 2020, the group behind the initiative. She believed the state legislature added 65A to the November Ballot to confuse voters.

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If 65A passes, Grantham said a medical marijuana program will not be passed in Mississippi.

“The facts are that Mississippi Legislators had more than 20 years to produce a medical marijuana program and they have never done it,” Grantham said.

The big difference between the two proposals is Initiative 65A does not provide specifics like what conditions patients must have to qualify to use medical marijuana, possession limits, how much it will cost and be taxed or when it goes into effect if passed.

According to Grantham, polling shows that 81 percent of Mississippians want medical marijuana programs for patients who are suffering and it’s the compassionate thing to do.

Dennis Day of Oxford said that medical marijuana should not be voted in.

“Don’t think it should be voted on the ballot, there are some good things in Marijuana like CBD Oil, but as far as being on the ballot, I don’t think it should be,” Day said.

Voters will decide this fall what will happen.