Protestors gathered across Mississippi on Saturday to demand Gov. Tate Reeves (R) call a special session to pass the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act (MMCA), KAIT 8 reports. The bipartisan MMCA was drafted in response to the state Supreme Court throwing out Initiative-65, the voter-approved initiative that sought to legalize medical cannabis in the deep South state during the 2020 election.
“We are tired of waiting,” said Amy Smoot while outside the Desoto County Courthouse with a group called We Are The 74 — named after the 74% of Mississippians who voted in favor of the state’s medical cannabis initiative. “We have sick people that are waiting for this. We need this now.”
Only the governor has the power to call a special session. State senator Kevin Blackwell (R) told KAIT that the final draft of the bill was sent to the governor last Thursday. Reeves has indicated he would call the special session if legislators came to an agreement to regulate the cultivation, processing, and distribution of medical cannabis.
“This is medical cannabis; it’s medical cannabis only. You’re not going to see people running around and smoking everywhere. There are rules and laws.” – Smoot to KAIT
We Are The 74 plans to rally again this weekend in front of the governor’s mansion. In an appeal to Reeves’ compassion, Smoot said at the protest that “there are hurting and sick people all over the state.”
“They don’t have medicine for their children, for their families, and it’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s truly heartbreaking.”
During the 2020 election, 74% of Mississippians voted in favor of legalizing medical cannabis. However, Initiative 65 was ruled unconstitutional by the Mississippi Supreme Court due to a congressional redistricting technicality. Anticipating the ruling, some legislators started working on the MMCA in early 2021 and now have a prepared proposal.
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