/Reeves begrudgingly signs medical marijuana into law

Reeves begrudgingly signs medical marijuana into law

Reeves posted a lengthy Facebook post Wednesday saying he was “committed” to supporting the will the people who passed a medical marijuana referendum, only to have it overturned in the state Supreme Court. Reeves still doesn’t like the bill and is concerned that it will lead to more recreational marijuana use, as well as less workers. “But it’s a fact that legislators who wrote (the 45th and 46th drafts) made significant improvements in order to get us to accomplish the ultimate goal.” Reeves stated that his goal was to create a medical marijuana program. He also said that he would do everything possible to reduce and mitigate recreational marijuana use, even though it is impossible to completely eliminate it. Reeves outlined “improvements that we fought for in the final version” of the bill, including regulations regarding doctors who can certify patients and dispensaries located “within 1,000 feet of schools and churches.” Reeves said, “I thank all the legislators for all their efforts on these improvements” and their tireless work. “I am very grateful to Mississippians who spoke up. “Now, hopefully, it will be over and we can move on to the more pressing issues facing our state,” Reeves had once threatened to veto the program during legislative negotiations. He claimed that it would allow patients too much marijuana. After reducing the amount to 4 ounces per month to 3.5 ounces per month, lawmakers reduced it to 3 ounces per month before passing Senate Bill 2095 to Reeves. Both the House and Senate had overwhelming support for the bill. Reeves was due to sign, veto, or allow the bill to pass without his signature by midnight Wednesday. Reeves refused to tell legislative leaders what he would do. The measure was passed by both the Senate and the House with overwhelming votes. If they were to hold, it could have overridden Reeves’ veto. READ MORE: Mississippi Legislature sends a medical marijuana bill to the governor. Mississippi has struggled for years to become one of many states that have legalized marijuana. Despite growing support from the citizens, legislative efforts in this conservative Bible Belt State have failed to succeed for years. Voters in 2020 passed Initiative 65, which created a medical marijuana program in the state and made it a part of the state constitution. The initiative was rescinded by the Supreme Court in May 2021 due to a constitutional problem. This also ended the possibility for voters to pass initiatives. Legislators worked all summer to draft a medical cannabis bill, promising to listen to the voters. Reeves, who was against Initiative 65, promised to also heed the voters’ wishes and call lawmakers into special sessions once they had reached an agreement. Reeves refused to call special session after they reached an agreement in September. He also complained that the 4 ounces per month of marijuana patients could purchase was too much, even though it was less than the 5 ounces approved by Initiative 65. The final version of the bill passed Jan. 26 by lawmakers said that they had accepted most of Reeves’ demands. READ MORE: Mississippi lawmakers wrangle over medical marijuana. The bill requires the state Department of Health (the Department of Health) to accept applications and register and license ID cards. Practitioners must be licensed within 120 days. The department must begin licensing and registering cannabis cultivation and processing facilities, testing and research facilities, as well as disposal and transport operations, within 120 days. The Department of Revenue must begin licensing and registering dispensaries within 30 days of receiving applications or 30 days following the initial 150 days. It is required that all medical marijuana used in Mississippi must be grown and processed within the state. This means that it may take months before it becomes available to patients. This law allows medical marijuana to be used for over two dozen “debilitating” conditions. It allows medical marijuana to be used as a treatment for chronic, debilitating and severe pain. The Department of Health can add conditions to the list, but not doctors.