Last Update: June 23, 2014
Ole Miss continues to grow medical marijuana, but can they use it for their own clinical research programs?
Along with a slew of other traditionally conservative states, Mississippi gained a new law this year allowing for the limited use of medical marijuana. This law would provide an affirmative defense to individuals suffering from debilitating seizure disorders for the use and possession of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis extracts. While this measure only protects a tiny number of the patients who could benefit from medical marijuana, it is a step in the right direction. For more information about this new law, check out our summary here.
Since 1968, Ole Miss has been the sole producer of federally legal marijuana in the United States. Yet university researchers can expect the same slow, multi-year approval process that has prevented trials from going forward for decades. Even those trials that manage to be approved tend to be small-scale and short-term. Please thank your legislators for this first important step, and ask them to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program next year.
Each month, under the government’s Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, federal authorities send four patients a tin canister filled with about 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, filled with marijuana grown at Ole Miss. If the federal government can grow medical marijuana for out-of-state patients in Mississippi, why can't Mississippi's seriously ill patients access the medicine they need?
Did you know Mississippi is a "decrim" state?
Mississippi is one of the 18 states that have decriminalized personal use marijuana possession. First offense possession of 30 grams (a little more than an ounce) is punishable by a $250 fine instead of jail time and a civil summons as opposed to arrest, as long as the offender provides proof of identity and a written promise to appear in court.
Unfortunately, new evidence suggests that Mississippi’s marijuana laws are not being evenly enforced. A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Mississippi are 3.9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Please write your state legislators to ask them to end marijuana prohibition in the state and replace it with a taxed and regulated system, as Colorado and Washington state have done.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Mississippi, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.