National Law Review / Oagletree Deakins: Mississippi Approves Medical Marijuana: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been


Wednesday, February 9, 2022 Rarely are we able to combine the Grateful Dead and Mississippi in the same sentence, but the band once said, what a long strange trip it’s been. In November 2020, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative Measure No. 65, a citizen-driven ballot initiative. Initiative Measure No. 65 would have amended the Mississippi Constitution to create a state medical marijuana program. However, on May 14, 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative Measure No. 65, ruling that the state election law governing voter ballot initiatives was out-of-date and unworkable. The Mississippi legislature thereafter began working to pass a medical marijuana bill. On January 26, 2022, the Mississippi legislature approved Senate Bill 2095, the “Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act.” Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the bill into law on February 2, 2022. The act goes into effect immediately. The act lists twenty medical conditions and categories of conditions for which an individual would be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Mississippi, including cancer, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, any “chronic, terminal, or debilitating” condition producing chronic pain, and “any other condition” that may be added by the Mississippi Department of Health in the future. The act makes clear that it prohibits “smoking medical [marijuana] in a public place or in a motor vehicle.” Importantly, unlike many other state medical marijuana legalization laws, the Mississippi act does not contain any express employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders. With respect to employment, the act specifically states that it does not: require an employer, health insurer, or workers’ compensation insurer to pay or reimburse for costs associated with medical marijuana use; require an employer to permit, accommodate, or allow the use of medical marijuana by employees; require an employer to modify any job or working conditions of employees who are medical marijuana cardholders; prohibit employers from refusing…

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Source : National Law Review / Oagletree Deakins: Mississippi Approves Medical Marijuana: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

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