Exploring the medical marijuana initiatives

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Health experts said a number of conditions have been proven to be effectively treated by medical marijuana products, including epilepsy.

Medical marijuana in Mississippi could be in the state’s future if Initiative 65 or Initiative 65-A is passed by voters in the November election.

Tres Townsend with the Epilepsy Foundation of Mississippi said she supports Initiative 65. She said many people with epilepsy, who do not respond to medicine, could benefit from medical marijuana.

“If it is prescribed by a physician, and if it’s monitored by a physician and is overseen by a health agency, then my whole trust in those physicians that are prescribing that. And if it helps and controls, it gives a better quality of life. That is the ultimate goal that we’re all searching for,” stated Townsend.

Because of these benefits, the board has endorsed Initiative 65. Communications director Jamie Grantham said this endorsement may help its cause.

“We’re just looking forward to being a partner with them,” Grantham said. “[And] honestly for patients who are part of that organization who unfortunately suffer from seizures for them to be able to have access to medical marijuana through Initiative 65, if it passes.”

The Mississippi Medical Association is not in favor of Initiative 65. Dr. Mark Horne believes its guidelines are too lax.

“Sixty-five says that anybody in the state of Mississippi who has any of a host of nonchronic or chronic illnesses, which may or may not be benefited by marijuana, can get five ounces a month of high grade marijuana,” Dr. Horne said.

Official opinions aside, it all comes down to the vote on November 3.

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