Mississippi legislature reviewing bill that could drastically change marijuana laws

MISSISSIPPI — A bill that would drastically change Mississippi marijuana laws is before the legislature now.

Right now, if someone is caught with more than 30 grams of marijuana, it’s a criminal offense. The first time it happens you won’t go to jail, but you will have a misdemeanor charge on your record. You will also have to pay a fine that would cost you anywhere between $100 and $250.

The second time, it’s a felony. You can get up to 60 days in jail and have to take a drug education class. But, under House Bill 178, the first offense is a civil penalty.

The fine would stay the same, but there would be no criminal charge on your record. The second offense would result in an increased fine and you still have to take the drug education course.

Lisa Adams of Horn Lake said she thinks even that’s too much.

”Community Service, teach them to work. You know, teach them some valuable lessons,” Adams said.

The bill is in the House Judiciary committee for now. Similar bills have died in committee in the past. Law enforcement agencies FOX13 spoke with said they’re not speaking of the bill and they have to deal with it in the courts.

“I think it’s the right thing to do. All the other states are doing it and of course, Mississippi is a little slow. They’ll catch on. It’s moving that way. Everything takes a little time,” Bill Haack of Olive Branch said.

Ron Hayes of Olive Branch said he doesn’t like the bill at all because he doesn’t think there should be a fine. Period.

”I don’t smoke it but I think if people want to do it, fine. I don’t see where it’s causing problems. It’s no worse than drinking. That’s the way I see it. And, people are going to do it anyway,” Hayes said.