Protestors urge Mississippi Governor to arrange special session for medical cannabis measure

Protestors+urge+Mississippi+Governor+to+arrange+special+session+for+medical+cannabis+measure

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Medical cannabis lobbyists in Mississippi are ramping up their support for a special session to be held by the Mississippi Legislature. Currently, the House and Senate have given their thumb’s up to Initiative 65 a draft measure that would replace the state’s voter-approved program.

The Mississippi Supreme Court rescinded a voter-approved medical cannabis law on a legal technicality in May 2021. Moving forwards, Governor Tate Reeves is being asked to jump-start the process and help patients get their hands on plant-based medicines across the state.

On Saturday, October 9, protestors participated in a rally to discuss the issue. The aim of the event was to help provide relief for those who’ve been negatively impacted by restrictions and delays pertaining to medical cannabis access in Mississippi.

“We Are the 74” a pro-cannabis activist group led the rally. The group’s name was influenced by the 74 percent of Mississippians who voted to pass Initiative 65 last November.

“I think the people deserve a special session right now,” said the executive director of Citizens Alliance of Mississippi, Shea Dobson. “You know, 74 percent voted on medical [cannabis.] The Supreme Court ripped our voice away. So, a special session needs to happen.”

Mississippi became the 35th U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis following a successful vote during the 2020 ballot, which was held on November 3.

Mississippi’s pro-cannabis protest rally attracted plenty of attention

The protest march was made possible with the help of the Citizens Alliance of Mississippi (CAM). Participants managed to turn a lot of heads and stop streams of traffic at major tourism hotspot Cruisin’ the Coast in Edgewater Mall. 

The more attention whether it is positive or negative – that the pro-cannabis activist group attracts, the better. Much like a brand can benefit from good or bad press, Mississippi’s yet-to-blossom medical cannabis industry needs all of the ammo it can get to ensure that awareness is raised and people are clued up on the subject.

It’s likely that the pro-cannabis rally will be one of many aimed at promoting the efficacy and proper implementation of the state’s medical cannabis program. According to CAM’s executive director, Shea Dobson, delaying the rollout of a Mississippi’s medical cannabis program could be much too high.

“The longer we wait, the more patients suffer,” said Dobson, as he referred to the many people who endure debilitating conditions and depend on natural plant-based medicines in Mississippi.

“Many patients suffer injuries that require surgery, aside from politics, the issue transcends republican, democrat, gender. Everything,” he added.

About the Citizens Alliance of Mississippi (CAM)

A brand new organization formed by Dobson, who is also the former Mayor of Ocean Springs, CAM is urging legislators to sign a medical cannabis pledge and broaden access for patients across the state. The organization was established with the primary goal of encouraging legislators to support a medical cannabis bill with a no-cost market in the same way that Initiative 65 did. 

If Initiative 65 is signed and adopted into Mississippi law, the succeeding bill will be exempt from licensing caps or minimum net worth rules for people to own/operate a business in the legal medical cannabis industry. Dobson is optimistic that medical cannabis legislation will be passed once a special session takes place.

“People are really fed up with Jackson. They’re fed up with the political process and frankly with my term as mayor I saw that up close and personal. So, I felt that this organization, this pledge was necessary to make sure that our voices are heard loud and clear,” Dobson expressed.

Anyone who is interested in signing CAM’s pledge to legalize medical cannabis can visit the website at teamcam.org.