JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – There are 34 states where people have access to medical marijuana. Mississippi is not one of those states.
In November, voters across the state will decide whether Initiative 65, also known as Medical Marijuana 2020, should be legal.
“A lot of people are using pharmaceutical medications or a cocktail of them. And they’re not treating their symptoms, or they have adverse side affects. With medical marijuana, a lot of patients are finding relief from their symptoms in a natural way that doesn’t provide those adverse side affects,” said Jamie Grantham, Communications Director for Medical Marijuana 2020.
If the initiative is approved by voters, patients with certain medical conditions could get access to medical marijuana after an examination. Grantham said the other 34 states that have access are benefiting from medical marijuana.
State health officials have their doubts. The Mississippi State Board of Health issued a resolution, opposing the initiative.
“A lot of the health claims that are being made are entirely unproven. People want to believe in it. And you know, we can certainly understand that,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, who is the State Health Officer. “But as scientists, as medical health professionals, we want to make sure that it really works and it’s safe.”
Dr. Dobbs said there’s too much margin for error, especially for children.
“We want medications that help our kids and not take the risks on these sort of unrelated products,” he explained.
Dr. Dobbs stated legalization would add a great deal of responsibilities to the Mississippi State Department of Health, and the department is not equipped to manage medical marijuana.