Mississippi State Policy Alert

Sent: January 16, 2007
From: Anthony Wagenseil, MPP legislative analyst
Topic: Medical Marijuana, State and Local Legislation

Title: 

Act now for medical marijuana in Mississippi

Message: 

Eleven states currently permit the legal use of marijuana for medical reasons -- and Mississippi has a chance to join them. This year, state Rep. Erik Fleming (D-72) introduced H.B. 421, which would protect seriously ill patients who use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation from arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.

Compassionate medical marijuana legislation has been introduced every year for half a decade, but legislators continue to ignore this issue. Now, the bill sits in the House Judiciary A Committee, awaiting a hearing. The committee will hold a hearing on this bill -- and vote to move it forward -- if people show their legislators that medical marijuana is important to Mississippi's residents.

Please take a moment to send a letter to the committee members, urging them to support medical marijuana and to hold a hearing on H.B. 421. The process is quick and easy, and will make a world of difference.

And once you've used our automated system to send the committee members a letter, follow up with a phone call. Letters are effective, but personal calls from concerned citizens are even more so. The House Judiciary A Committee members are:

Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr. (D-57) -- committee chairman -- (601) 859-1567

Rep. James C. Simpson Jr. (R-120) -- vice chairman -- (228) 863-6534

Rep. Mark Baker (R-74) -- (601) 824-7455

Rep. Earle S. Banks (D-67) -- (601) 969-2221

Rep. Gary Chism (R-37) -- (662) 327-0777

Rep. Bryant W. Clark (D-47) -- (662) 834-6133

Rep. Linda Coleman (D-29) -- (662) 843-5253

Rep. J. P. Compretta (D-122) -- (228) 467-1010

Rep. Bill Denny (R-64) -- (601) 956-6807

Rep. Tyrone Ellis (D-38) -- (662) 324-5433

Rep. Jamie Franks (D-19) -- (662) 842-0380

Rep. Frances Fredericks (D-119) -- (228) 864-9319

Rep. D. Stephen Holland (D-16) -- (662) 840-5000

Rep. Robert L. Johnson III (D-94) -- (601) 442-9371

Rep. John Mayo (D-25) -- (662) 902-8633

Rep. Bobby Moak (D-53) -- (800) 595-6244

Rep. Harvey Moss (D-2) -- (662) 287-6590

Rep. Willie J. Perkins Sr. (D-32) -- (662) 455-1211

Rep. John R. Reeves (R-71) -- (601) 355-9600

Rep. Thomas U. Reynolds (D-33) -- (662) 647-3203

Rep. Walter L. Robinson Jr. (D-63) -- (601) 866-7011

Rep. Margaret Rogers (D-14) – number unlisted

Rep. Clayton Smith (R-59) -- (601) 992-1635

Rep. Mary Ann Stevens (D-48) -- (601) 359-9473

Rep. Percy W. Watson (D-103) -- (601) 545-1051

That's a lot of legislators to call, but they need to hear from their constituents to move medical marijuana forward this year. Another important call to make would be to your specific district's state senator and representative, urging them to support medical marijuana. Visit this page to find out who your elected officials are -- just type in your zip code or address and look at the "state legislators" section.

Please remember to be polite when speaking to legislators -- we want to appeal to our lawmakers, not alienate them. Be sure to tell them why medical marijuana is important, and that seriously ill patients should not have to face criminal penalties for using their medicine. And don't forget to urge each and every one of them to vote YES on H.B. 421.

One final note: If you are a patient, doctor, or nurse, and can provide testimony, then we need to hear from you. Your story or medical expertise could determine whether H.B. 421 receives a hearing. And if you are a professional in another field that could help (an expert in law or science, a professor, a member of the clergy, etc), then your voice of support can also have tremendous influence. Please contact Anthony Wagenseil at 202-462-5747 ext. 127, or at Anthony@mpp.org to get involved.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please pass this alert on to your friends and family in Mississippi, so that they, too, may become involved in reform.