Survey suggests that 81 percent of Mississippians back medical cannabis legalization


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A survey recently carried out by FM3 Research – a strategic cannabis industry insight company headquartered in California – has shone some interesting insights on Mississippians’ views about legalization.

Based on the results of the survey, approximately 81 percent of state voters are in favor of medical cannabis legalization. Coming to this conclusion required the researchers to carry out telephone surveys with over 600 Mississippians who will vote in the looming November election.

Moreover, FM3 Research found out that four in five Mississippians support doctors’ rights to provide patients with medical cannabis recommendations; for a broad scope of medical conditions and illnesses.

Two competing medical cannabis measures in Mississippi to be voted on this November 

Mississippians for Compassionate Care – a group of advocates in Mississippi who are devoted to ease suffering among patients with chronic medical conditions – submitted more than the required amount of signatures for its medical cannabis initiative, Initiative 65, to be featured on the November ballot. Under the terms of this proposed law, no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis could be prescribed to a patient within a 14-day period. Moreover, the patient would need to obtain a medical cannabis card in order to procure their medicine.

Initiative 65 would effectively amend the state constitution and enable patients who have been diagnosed with a severe health condition to obtain a doctor’s approval for  the purchase of medical cannabis in Mississippi. A special fund in the state treasury would benefit from accrued cannabis sales taxes; the money would cover the Mississippi State Department of Health‘s contribution to launch a legal cannabis market in Mississippi.

Competing medical cannabis Initiative 65A was approved by the Mississippi legislature in March. This law would grant State lawmakers more power over key regulations.

Mississippi has decriminalized cannabis, but obstacles remain

A total of 26 U.S. states have decriminalized the cannabis plant, with Mississippi being one of them. Personal use cannabis possession for adult-use purposes has also been legalized in 11 U.S. states — Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Individuals who are caught with a first-time offense for cannabis possession – up to 30 grams – in Mississippi will be fined at least $250, as opposed to facing a stint behind bars. Thanks to cannabis decriminalization in Mississippi, a civil summons can now be served instead of an arrest; contingent on the offender proving their identity and agreeing to attend court.

Pro-cannabis advocates in Mississippi are being advised by lobbyists to write their state legislators requesting a resolution to cannabis prohibition in Mississippi. Advocacy groups are hoping that the existing system will be replaced with a regulated and taxed program that could essentially ameliorate the economy, much like it has done in legal states.

If a vote is successful this fall, Mississippi will become the 34th U.S. state to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.