Governor pushing back on drafted medical marijuana bill; Legislature believes they could override veto
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Medical marijuana is still a hot topic in Mississippi.
After the Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65, the attention turned the legislature and the Governor. But still, there’s no program in place.
”I know they want you to call it a medical marijuana bill, but I’m going to call it the marijuana bill as it currently exists,” said Governor Tate Reeves during a press briefing on December 20.
For the last two weeks, Governor Tate Reeves has been more vocal about his opposition to the drafted bill and added two social media posts this week.
His concern? The amount allowed per person.
“Three and a half grams would allow for all 300,000 Mississippians with a marijuana card to get up to 11 joints a day,” Reeves said last week. “11 joints a day. That at some point, that has become no longer medical marijuana but recreational.”
Rep. Lee Yancey doesn’t think that many Mississippians will qualify under the eligible debilitating conditions and not all who do will choose to smoke it.
“He uses recreational terminology, making it sound as bad as it possibly can,” noted Yancey.
Yancey says dispensaries sell marijuana cigarettes.
“I say we’re allowing three and a half. The governor is using a much smaller amount inside the rolling paper, if you will. He’s using 0.32 grams, which sometimes has been a recreational drug bust. They sell those things on the street for as little potency as possible for as much money as possible. Where in a medical marijuana dispensary, you’re going to get those three sizes - point five grams, one gram, or 1.5 grams.”
The We Are the 74 group is planning to be back at the Capitol when lawmakers return next week.
“No offense, Governor, but doctors go to school for almost a decade and study,” described We Are the 74 President Bethany Hill. “And you don’t have the right to determine how much medicine our body needs. So, I just think it’s a lot of it’s absurd.”
The Governor says he won’t sign it as it currently stands, but:
“We feel like we have the votes, we have the votes to pass it, which is 60%,” noted Yancey. “We have the votes to override a veto, which is 67%.”
Lawmakers return to the Captiol Tuesday and expect to take this up at the start of that session.
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