Mississippi Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Mississippi Legalizes Medical Marijuana
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This past February, Mississippi became the 37th state in the US to legalize medical marijuana, following the passage of legislation permitting patients with qualifying health-related conditions to use cannabis medicinally. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, after threatening to veto the legislation if lawmakers didn’t relent to the changes he demanded. The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, also known as Senate Bill 2095, allows patients with “debilitating” medical conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, autism and sickle cell disease to register with the state’s medical marijuana program with a recommendation from a qualifying health care provider. Registered patients with an identification card issued by the state health department will be permitted to purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day from licensed dispensaries up to six times per week, although it will likely be months before regulated retailers begin serving patients.  In a Feb. 2 Facebook post, Reeves announced that he still had reservations with the legislation. “I have made it clear that the bill on my desk is not the one that I would have written,” he wrote. “But it is a fact that the legislators who wrote the final version of the bill (the 45th or 46th draft) made significant improvements to get us towards accomplishing the ultimate goal.” Mississippi Voters Approved Medical Marijuana In 2020 Reeves’ reluctant approval of Senate Bill 2095 is the culmination of a legislative and litigious saga to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi. In November 2020, the state’s voters approved Initiative 65, a ballot measure to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis. But only days before the election, opponents sued to block the measure, citing flaws in the state’s initiative process. In May 2021, Initiative 65 was struck down by the Mississippi Supreme Court in a decision that invalidated the state’s initiative process.…

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