JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Members of the group ‘We Are the 74’ protested outside of the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson on Wednesday. The members, who support medical marijuana legalization in Mississippi, have been protesting since Monday.
Organizers said they plan to protest every day outside the mansion until Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) calls a special sessions. They want legislation to legalize marijuana in the state.
House and Senate leaders want to enact a medical marijuana program to replace an initiative voters approved in November. State Supreme Court justices overturned the initiative in May when they ruled that Mississippi’s initiative process is outdated and unworkable.
Legislators’ next regular session begins in January. The governor has the power to decide what topics they may consider during a special session.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn, who are both Republican, said in late September that they want Reeves to set a special session soon because negotiators from the two chambers agreed on a medical marijuana proposal, and they believe they’ve lined up enough votes to pass it.
“They’ve worked with our organization and actually let us get some things in there that we were hoping for, like disabled veterans waiver and things like that. So, they allowed us to take part in our government. Now that the governor’s had his consensus for two and a half weeks, he said he’ll call it when he has it. As long as the governor doesn’t lie, he should be calling it any day now,” said Bethany Hill, the president of ‘We Are the 74.’
The proposal would allow cities and counties to opt out of allowing the cultivation, processing or sale of medical marijuana, but it would also let local voters seek an election to reverse the decisions of those governing boards.
It also would set taxes, require that medical marijuana be grown only indoors and limit the amount of the drug that could be purchased each month by patients or their caregivers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.