Mississippi voters will be able to vote for the legalization of medical marijuana in the next vote in November.
In September, the Mississippians for Compassionate Care submitted 105,686 signatures to qualify Initiative 65 for the November 2020 vote. Enough to qualify the initiative for the vote. It required only 86,000 signatures . But each one must pass through the Office of the Secretary of State for review and approval. Therefore, this process is now complete and the initiative valid.
The Mississippi legislature now has 4 months. To review, amend, adapt or reject the initiative before the next general election in November. Within this framework, legislators may decide to place their own amended version of the initiative on medical cannabis.
If so, both the amended version and the original initiative ought to reach the electorate.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Board of Health has spoken out against the initiative. At a meeting in December 2019, the Board of Health considered the pros and cons of medical cannabis. While board members noted the potential medical benefits of cannabis, CBD and THC, they also noted that there are many known harms from the use of cannabis products, including addiction, mental illness, increased accidents, and smoking-related harm.
The Board also felt that the proposed initiative provided for very broad uses of medical cannabis, including with the designation of “pain management”, and felt that they would have no ability to restrict the consumption of edible products or THC.
For this and other reasons, members of the Mississippi State Board of Health expressed “strong opposition” to the 2020 Medical Cannabis Legalization Initiative.
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