Mississippi Senate Approves Medical Cannabis Bill

The Mississippi Senate passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. The bill, which the governor has threatened to veto, now moves to the House for final approval.

Full story after the jump.

The Mississippi Senate on Thursday passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis in the state with only five ‘no’ votes, WLBT reports. The measure includes a 1 gram per day limit for patients which is less than the limit proposed by Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who has threatened to veto the measure over the initial 3.5 gram daily limits included in previous versions of the legislation.

During the two-and-a-half-hour debate on the bill, Sen. Kevin Blackwell (R) showed his colleagues bags containing hemp flower to illustrate the purchase limits included in the new version of the measure.

“‘Everybody must get stoned.’ You may recognize those lyrics from Bob Dylan. It’s basically to draw attention to that almost hysterical paranoid reefer madness, Chicken Little belief expressed by a few skeptics that if we pass a medical cannabis bill, the streets of Mississippi will be flooded by pot smoking zombies, crime will explode, planes will fall from the sky and the world as we know it will simply come to an end. Some of you may share illogical beliefs, but they’re simply not true.” Blackwell during Thursday’s debate via WLBT

Bethany Hill, president of We Are The 74, said that Tate’s “descriptions of cannabis have kind of scared people” and that Blackwell’s visual aids were “needed” to help lawmakers “see the kind of medicine that they were going to be able to have in the amount.”

Mississippi voters approved a medical cannabis ballot initiative in 2020; however, the law was thrown out by the state Supreme Court which found issues with the state’s ballot initiative process. A June poll from Millsaps College and Chism Strategies found 63% of Mississippians wanted lawmakers to approve a bill that mirrored the one which was approved by voters but struck down by the court. Twenty percent of those surveyed indicated that medical cannabis legalization was the most important issue for determining how they would vote in this year’s midterm elections.

The bill moves next to the House.

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