JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Members of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police have publicly announced their opposition to Initiative 65.
The association, which represents nearly 330 police chiefs, call the initiative “extremely problematic” and “ambiguous" as the bill is currently proposed.
“As police leaders, we have experienced the effects marijuana... has in our communities,” the statement reads, adding that, “The long term consequences of a constitutional amendment to address this need will have detrimental impacts to the communities we are protecting.”
They encourage voters to research the initiative themselves before casting their ballot, stating they are against both Initiative 65 and 65A.
In the case medical marijuana is approved, the association supports Measure 65A on the second vote, which they say would allow the legislative process to regulate medical marijuana.
Initiative 65 would allow citizens with any of 22 illnesses to get a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana. Initiative 65A would also legalize medical marijuana in the state, but would restrict use to terminally ill patients and require treatment oversight by licensed officials.
If passed, Initiative 65 would begin in August 2021. There’s no defined start date for 65A.
Former governor Phil Bryant has also come out against Initiative 65, saying the “Big Marijuana” industry behind this push just wants “a free ride” by not paying state taxes.
A recent survey found that over 80% of Mississippians support the legalization of medical marijuana.