JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This November, two competing measures will be on the ballot to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi.
Supporters of Initiative 65 are speaking out on why you should chose that proposal over Initiative 65A. More than 200,000 people across the state signed a petition to put Initiative 65 on the ballot.
Initiative 65 would allow people with any of 22 illnesses to get a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana. The state health department would issue them an ID card so they can purchase it from a licensed marijuana clinic. Marijuana sales would be taxed at 7%.
The growing of marijuana would be monitored by Mississippi Department of Health, but may choose to contract the work to outside businesses.
Supporters say more than 85% of Americans and 80% of Mississippians support the legalization of medical marijuana. They say Initiative 65A is too restrictive and was only placed on the ballot to confuse voters and dilute support for Initiative 65.
Public smoking would be prohibited under Initiative 65.
If passed, Initiative 65 would begin in August 2021. There’s no defined start date for 65A.
Those who oppose the initiative say it will allow pot shops to be set up anywhere and they believe it will increase access to people who abuse drugs.
Initiative 65A would also legalize medical marijuana in the state, but it would restrict use to terminally ill patients, and require treatment oversight by licensed officials.