Mississippi Lawmakers Hold Medical Marijuana Hearing After Court Overturns Voter-Approved Law

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Leaders have discussed calling a special session to approve a new cannabis program. By Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today The basic principles of the medical marijuana initiative approved by Mississippi voters in November—but struck down recently by the state Supreme Court—should be honored, members of the Senate Public Health Committee were told Thursday. Ken Newburger, executive director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, conceded to the committee that there are areas where the now invalidated Initiative 65 could be improved, such as allowing local governments more leeway in zoning medical marijuana dispensaries and not placing the entire program under the umbrella of the underfunded and under-resourced Mississippi State Department of Health. But Newburger, who worked to pass the medical marijuana proposal, said any legislation passed in response to the Supreme Court striking down Initiative 65 should adhere to the principles of: • Allowing broad access to medical marijuana. • Giving doctors the authority to certify usage of medical marijuana where they believe it would be beneficial. • Allowing the free market to dictate who could operate a medical marijuana-related business. • Ensuring the medical marijuana program is self-sustaining. The hearing of the Senate Public Heath Committee was the first since the Supreme Court ruled last month the medical marijuana initiative and the entire ballot initiative process invalid. Legislative leaders and Gov. Tate Reeves (R) have discussed the possibility of a special session to consider both the reinstatement of the medical marijuana program and entire initiative process where citizens can gather signatures to place issues on the ballot for voters to decide. Both House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann (R), who presides over the Senate, watched a portion of the hearing from the back of a crowded committee room at the state Capitol, but left before the hearing…

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Source : Mississippi Lawmakers Hold Medical Marijuana Hearing After Court Overturns Voter-Approved Law

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