Reaction to passage of Initiative 65

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Medical marijuana is now legal in Mississippi. With the passing of Initiative 65, some people are excited while others are worried about what the outcome could be.

Angie Calhoun’s son Austin was diagnosed with Lyme disease at 17. He experienced seizures and chronic joint pain. Calhoun said they went to 20 doctors and tried 17 prescriptions before making a different choice.

“We decided as a family that it would be best to try  medical marijuana since the prescriptions were not working for my son, and he was just literally wasting away. So we went to a state that had a legal and regulated medical marijuana program.”

The family moved to Colorado hoping to find relief for their son’s pain, and they did.

“It helped him to keep his food down, and the seizures stopped. The pain lessened, and it was just a blessing in disguise.”

Calhoun said she was overwhelmed by the support of Mississippians at the ballot box.

“Just had tears of joy coming down my face, and I just give God the credit because he has taken us from a seven year journey of sickness, and illness, and heartache and pain to a time that we can celebrate and look forward to our son coming back home to Mississippi permanently. There is no difference between medical marijuana and marijuana. It’s all just marijuana, and it may have some medical purposes.”

Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal said he understands people may benefit from marijuana, but he fears others will abuse the system.

“We understand that the purpose of 65 is for the medical patients, but we know there is also abuse to those systems,” he stated.

Chief Neal and the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police said they do not believe people understand how much marijuana people will be allowed.

Neal said, “Each patient each caregiver will be allowed to purchase this amount per month.”

Chief Neal said fears treatment centers or as law enforcement calls them, pot shops, will pop up across the city and will be tough to regulate. He also fears that people with a medical marijuana ID will be able to assign a caregiver that doesn’t have a medical condition.

Calhoun is confident that those who really need this type of treatment will not abuse the system.

The Mississippi Chiefs of Police Association plans to release a statement about the passing of Initiative 65 soon.

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