/As clock ticks, headwinds build against passage of Mississippi medical marijuana

As clock ticks, headwinds build against passage of Mississippi medical marijuana

Over the summer, legislative leaders began to draft a bill. Gov. Tate Reeves stated that he would call lawmakers to special session to pass the bill once there was consensus on it. It took some time to put together a draft and it wasn’t until September that legislators told Reeves they had reached a consensus on a bill. Reeves stated that he was not happy with the bill, particularly because it would allow patients too much marijuana. This was despite the fact that the 4 ounces per month was lower than the 5 ounces approved by voters in 2020. The measure was opposed by law enforcement, religious and medical lobbies. The potential for a special session was lost as the debate shifted to how many joints could be made from one gram of marijuana. The regular legislative session started last week. It seems that any golden hour for medical marijuana since the passage of Initiative 65 in 2020 has passed. The likelihood of Mississippi passing a medical marijuana program becomes less certain as time goes on. Although the Senate leadership indicated that they plan to move quickly on the issue — possibly as soon as this week — even those who support the program in general have their own pet peeves about the draft and things they would like taken out of the measure. Alternative bills are being created. The House isn’t planning to adopt its own bill. Speaker Philip Gunn, the House’s speaker, stated last week that “candidly that is not a top concern for us” and that the House leadership was trying “a more conservative direction” to pass the bill. This indicates that there’s no agreement on the agreements that were apparently reached in fall. Reeves threatened to veto any legislation that fails to pass the bill as agreed. Although some legislative leaders claim they aren’t changing the law’s maximum allowable amount of marijuana, Gunn’s comments will at least raise questions about whether there is a veto-proof vote. READ MORE: Mississippi politicians tussle over medical marijuana. The 2020 overwhelming vote for Initiative 65 clearly caught the attention of politicians and led to promises to reinstate the program quickly after it was ruled invalid by the high court. Although there has been very little publicly available polling about the issue recently, it seems that many politicians, perhaps with some internal polling in their hands, don’t see it as No. It’s not an issue that can get you out of the Capitol hall, but it is No. 1 among voters. The issue of medical marijuana has been a contentious one in the Legislature for many years. This is why the citizen-led initiative was initiated by the marijuana industry and citizens. As time ticks by, the opposition to a Mississippi medical cannabis program seems to be growing. READ MORE: Mississippi’s mismanagement of medical marijuana