Let’s take a moment to be thankful for the fact that South Dakota is on its way to fully establish a medical marijuana program for those with qualifying conditions. It is going to be such an amazing journey for many and seeing those who can be relieved of, some if not all, their pain, stress, anxiety, etc. to live a happier, healthier life. Some states are not as lucky.
Mississippi Supreme Court on Medical Marijuana Initiative 65
On Friday, May 14, 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65, the formation of a medical marijuana program for Mississippi, which voters approved last fall. This decision not only hinders the medical marijuana program from forming in Mississippi but also limits other citizen-led efforts to put issues on the statewide ballot such as a request for early voting and expanding Medicaid.
In November 2020, nearly 1.3 million people voted in Mississippi and more than 766,000 of them voted in favor of Initiative 65, which required the state Health Department to establish a medical marijuana program by the middle of this year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Mississippi was among almost three dozen states to have approved medical marijuana.
Special Session on Medical Marijuana?
Following last week’s explosive decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court on the Medical Marijuana Program, according to sources close to the situation, lawmakers have discussed a special session with Gov. Tate Reeves’ (R) office. Without a special session, the Legislature will have to wait until January 2022 to introduce a medical marijuana program. It will take much longer to reinstate the initiative process, as it would entail a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature and then voter approval, most likely in November 2022.
And to top it all off, in the same week, as the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned initiative 65, they also put a Mississippi man behind bars for the rest of his life for cannabis possession. Last week the Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld the life sentence for Allen Russel, for a cannabis possession charge he was convicted upon in 2019. The 38-year-old Mississippi man received life in prison when a jury found him guilty for possessing 30 grams (1.05 oz) of marijuana.
What About What the People Deserve in Regards to Medical Marijuana?
If by chance you want to learn more about what is going on in Mississippi’s government surrounding medical marijuana, click here…