Overwhelming support for medical access in Mississippi
A majority of voters in Mississippi voted to approve Initiative 65, which provides for a state-regulated [cannabis] access system for qualified patients. Conversely, voters rejected a far more restrictive effort placed on the ballot by the legislature, Measure 65A.
Commenting on the outcome, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Initiative 65 puts the needs and interests of patients first. This was a grassroots effort to provide patients with access to a treatment option that patients already enjoy in 34 other states and in the District of Columbia. By contrast, Measure 65A was a cynical effort by lawmakers to misdirect voters. The same state lawmakers that for decades had refused to ever seriously address the issue were the ones behind 65A, and voters wisely rejected their campaign.”
Initiative 65 establishes a system of state-licensed dispensaries to engage in the retail dispensing of cannabis and cannabis products to patients with a doctor’s authorization. The measure places no limit on the number of dispensaries that may be licensed in the state, and mandates that local municipalities “shall not impair the availability of and reasonable access to medical [cannabis].” The proposal further mandates that state officials begin providing licenses for retailers no later than August 15, 2021.
NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of [cannabis] by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use [cannabis] responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for [cannabis]-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.
NORML Executive Director