A 58-person steering committee, including many prominent conservatives, announced a campaign to put a voter initiative for the legalization of medical cannabis on the 2020 Mississippi state ballot, Mississippi Today reports. The campaign, “Medical Marijuana 2020,” was officially registered by Ashley Durval, who made headlines in 2014 when she fought for her daughter’s right to access CBD oil as an epilepsy treatment.
The steering committee counts four Republican lawmakers, the heads of two conservative advocacy groups, and the president of “Mississippi Christian Living” magazine as members.
The plan calls for heavy regulation from Mississippi’s Department of Health, including ID cards and monitoring of treatment centers. Many of the conservative backers think that regulations are the key to making this initiative successful, though are some are aware of the irony of conservatives backing government regulation.
The state’s last initiative to legalize cannabis was registered by Kelly Jacobs in 2015 and was directed at complete adult-use legalization. It did not even make it onto the ballot.
“Practically we’re talking about medical marijuana here, we’re not talking about recreational drug use. It really seems like kind of a no-brainer to me, but because the word marijuana freaks people out, people who would normally be for these freedoms but have seen the negative impacts from drug problems, can’t disassociate those two.” — Jon Pritchett, via Mississippi Today
It is challenging to get an initiative on the Mississippi ballot: 100,000 signatures are needed and at least 20,000 must come from each congressional district. Jacobs said that, even while attempting that single daunting task, she received enormous resistance from officials in communities across Mississippi, increasing the difficulty exponentially.
Gov. Phil Bryant, in a Facebook post, announced that — if the initiative makes it to the ballot — he plans to veto. “Medical Marijuana 2020” has two years to change his mind.
Exclusive offer from our sponsor:
Get daily news insights in your inbox. Subscribe