Mississippi lawmakers are taking final votes Wednesday on legalizing medical Cannabis program, negotiators said Tuesday, reports the AP. If the bill becomes law, as expected, Mississippi would join the majority of states allowing patients to use marijuana.
“It’s nice to be at a place where everyone’s in agreement,” Republican House Drug Policy Committee Chairman Lee Yancey, said Tuesday. “It looks like that we’re finally going to be able to provide relief to those people with debilitating illnesses who suffer so badly.”
A wide margin of Mississippi voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November 2020. But the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidated it six months later, ruling that the state’s initiative process is outdated. That sneaky move, with good reason, is widely seen as the good-old-boy network nullifying a vote of the people.
We Strongly Suspect Tate Reeves Is An Asshole
Since shortly after the sketchy court ruling, lawmakers have been crafting a program. The program allows patients with conditions such as cancer, AIDS or sickle cell disease to buy Cannabis in state-licensed dispensaries.
But Republican Gov. Tate Reeves wants tight limits on how much patients could buy. Reeves claims that’s because he doesn’t want a “recreational marijuana program.” Many, however, suspect it’s really because Tater’s just a hidebound, stuffed-shirt, conservative asshole.
The Mississippi Senate and House passed slightly different versions of a bill this month, with wide margins of bipartisan support. The Senate version passed 46-5; the House passed its version of the bill 104-14, reports the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association. Therefore, two chambers must now do concurrence and agree on one version to send to the governor.
Mississippi Lawmakers: “We’re Veto-Proof”
Reeves has not said what he will do about the medical marijuana bill. He could sign it, he could veto it, or he could let it become law without his signature. But if Reeves vetoes it, lawmakers vow to override his veto.
“We’re veto-proof on both sides,” Republican Sen. Kevin Blackwell of Southaven, who has worked with Yancey in leading negotiations, said Tuesday.
The bill says patients could buy up to to an eighth-ounce (3.5 grams) of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That adds up to about 3 ounces a month.
Agriculture, Industry Zoning OK; Commercial Zones An Option
When the Senate passed the bill, it only zoned businesses growing or dispensing medical marijuana to be areas for agriculture or industry. But the House version also allowed them in areas with commercial zoning.
The final version will have an option, not a mandate, for the commercial zones. Yancey said city or county elected officials can vote on the matter. The agricultural and industrial provisions would remain.
The bill specifies that plants must be grown indoors under controlled conditions.