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Medical marijuana discussion continues - but no special session called yet

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Lawmakers are pushing forward with conversations about medical marijuana. But now there’s a question of whether they should allow for more options.

A group of marijuana supporters gathered outside the State Capitol on Wednesday. They want to make sure Mississippi lawmakers are hearing from Mississippians and not just folks from out of state.

“We are here today to bring this science to the Senate regardless of whether they will let us speak before them or not,” said Initiative 77 sponsor Dr. David Allen.

They are asking that Initiative 65 be restored, but they don’t think it should stop there.

“We’re just saying let Mississippi skip the medical, go straight to the adult use and reap the benefits,” noted cannabis activist David Singletary.

“We want complete legalization across the board here in this state,” added DeAundria Franklin Delaney, We Are the 74 board member.

Hours later, the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee hosted its third medical marijuana hearing. And that same topic came up. Committee Chair Hob Bryan says he thinks the state’s likely to bring forward and adopt a medical marijuana bill but adds this note:

“I think it’s unlikely that we will adopt an adult use statute. But it may be the case that whatever medical marijuana we pass morphs into an adult use situation.”

Sen. Brice Wiggins has asked some of those questions regarding whether they should look at the line between recreational and medical while they were at it.

“I believe that based on what we’ve heard that the push for recreational is not going away,” explained Wiggins. “I have not said that I support that but I have heard what people have said. Are the votes here to support recreational? I don’t think so.”

Some lawmakers signaled last week that a special session may be on the horizon for August. But Governor Tate Reeves said this when asked about the possibility Friday:

“I think the August date is made up,” said Reeves on July 16. “No one that can sign the order to have a special session has thought about August, any particular date, but we are making progress and there is a lot of work going on.”

The group outside the Capitol was also collecting signatures for Initiative 77 that would include allowing doctors to legally study cannabis, legalizing recreational use and home grow operations.

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