JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV/AP) – Mississippians have voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, opting for the less restrictive of two proposals on this year’s ballot.
Initiative 65 amends the Mississippi Constitution to allow the prescription by a doctor of up to 5 ounces (142 grams) of marijuana per month for people who suffer from more than 20 medical conditions.
The Mississippi Department of Health will issue a medical marijuana identification card that would allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from a licensed treatment center. Marijuana sales can be taxed at the current state sales tax rate of 7%.
More than 100,000 people signed petitions to put Initiative 65 on the ballot. Voters had to choose between Initiative 65 and another medical marijuana measure, Alternative 65A, which was a more restrictive policy.
“I speak on behalf of my entire team when I say we want to give God the glory and praise for this victory,” said Jamie Grantham, Mississippians for Compassionate Care Communications Director. “He started this. He made this amazing plant that is helping so many people across the country. He provided and blessed this journey every step of the way since we began in 2018. We have prayed diligently that this program would pass, knowing that it will help so many suffering patients and families in Mississippi. God gets the glory for this win. God gets the glory for 65 passing. This is a huge day for Mississippi and I couldn’t be more excited, humbled, or thankful.”
Alternative 65A, authored by members of the Mississippi Legislature, would have restricted smoking marijuana to people with terminal illnesses, although people who are ill but not dying could use oils or other forms of the drug. Alternative 65A left tax rates, possession limits and certain other details to the Legislature, instead of putting those details in the constitution.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) released the following statement about the decision.
We are now in the planning stages of reviewing the various elements needed to implement a successful marijuana program.Liz Sharlot
Director, Office of Communications
Mississippi State Department of Health
To learn more about Initiative 65, visit www.medicalmarijuana2020.com.