The initiative would amend the state constitution and permit patients diagnosed with serious health conditions to possess and access medical marijuana with the approval of their doctors.
In March, through a process permitted by the state’s constitution, the Mississippi Legislature approved a competing medical marijuana ballot initiative, Initiative 65A, which would grant state lawmakers more control over key regulations. Both initiatives will appear before voters in November. Mississippians for Compassionate Care opposed the legislature’s move, arguing it is an attempt to confuse voters and prevent a simple up-or-down vote on medical marijuana.
Mississippi is one of the 26 states that have decriminalized — or, in 11 cases, legalized — 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, data indicates that Mississippi’s marijuana laws are not being evenly enforced. A recent study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Mississippi are 2.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Please write your state legislators to ask them to end marijuana prohibition in Mississippi and replace it with a taxed and regulated system, as Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have all done.