One week later: Initiative 65 overturned

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 9:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s been one week since the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65.

With that, the creation of the medical marijuana program was halted. The Governor has indicated he’s willing to call a special session for the issue if there’s a consensus. But for many, it’s more personal than politics.

16-year-old Bryan Loftin’s mom Christine says they’ve tried everything for his mitochondrial disease and the frequent seizures he’s had most of his life.

“Over his life, we have tried over a dozen medications,” explained Loftin. “None of which have ever really stopped the seizures. We just have run out of options. There is just nothing else left for us.”

When she heard about the Supreme Court’s decision, politics weren’t on her mind. Bryan was. And a sense of grief that he may have to endure seizure injuries like these for even longer.

“We’ve considered splitting the family up and one of us moving and we shouldn’t have to do that,” noted Loftin. “Nobody should have to pick up and move in order to make that happen when we could get that here in our own state.”

Cody Weaver is a disabled U.S. Navy veteran.

“I got involved mostly so I could advocate from what I’ve seen the results in the states that have medical marijuana programs to veterans organizations across the state,” Weaver explained. “It’s something that could be live-changing for me, as well. We as the potential patients, we want the Supreme Court to understand what their decision has done to us.”

Caleb Bedford also feeling frustrated.

“I have PTSD,” Beford described. “I have ADHD. I have insomnia. I have chronic pain due to accidents, car accidents, that have hurt and injured different parts of my body.”

Bedford says he doesn’t like the way the pharmaceuticals make him feel and would rather have the option to use a natural option like cannabis.

“The legality looming over my head if I choose to use THC or marijuana based products right now is a big deal for anybody, I’m sure for anybody,” explained Beford. “Nobody wants to use a product that works for them illegally. That’s not the way it should be. It should be that everybody knows it’s highly medically beneficial.”

Then there’s the other side of frustration from those who were investing in starting medical marijuana businesses. Chad King had planned to open Kelly’s Green.

“We had already looked at real estate, acquired real estate, acquired consultants, gotten a design team together, looked at products, looked at extractions, looked at extraction experts,” detailed King. “What type of products do we want to bring? Whether that’s edibles or smokables or topicals.”

King is hopeful that can all be put back into play sooner rather than later.

“I think we will,” King added. “We will have a medial marijuana program. It’s just a matter of what it looks like now.”

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