Mississippi’s medical cannabis ballot measure: Two-thirds of required signatures already confirmed

Once the minimum number of signatures have been submitted by the September deadline, they must then be certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State

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Mississippi’s medical cannabis ballot measure: Two-thirds of required signatures already confirmed

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Medical cannabis advocates in Mississippi are optimistic about collecting the required 86,185 signatures to secure a legalization initiative on the 2020 ballot. So far, they’ve accomplished two-thirds of their goal.

Medical Marijuana 2020 is the name of the campaign for which activists are collecting signatures. The aim is to make medicinal-grade cannabis treatments available to Mississippians who qualify. The campaign’s communications director, Jamie Grantham, says that the state’s medical cannabis program would benefit patients who suffer from a broad scope of ailments, diseases, and conditions, including epileptic seizures, sickle cell disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

“The Medical Marijuana 2020 Campaign in Mississippi is working hard to get medical [cannabis] on the November 2020 ballot for Mississippians to be able to vote on,” Grantham said during an interview with Marijuana Moment. “We are in the final three-month push to obtain the remaining signatures.”

At the current time, CBD oil is available from just a handful of suppliers who lab-test their products in Mississippi.

Mississippi medical cannabis measure lists 22 qualifying conditions

Mississippi’s legalization measure states that patients will need to have a diagnosed ailment that is listed under Mississippi’s qualifying conditions in order to obtain their medicine. If the proposed initiative does get a spot on the November 2020 ballot, lawmakers will ponder over the fine details of Mississippi’s medical cannabis measure, which contains 22 qualifying conditions. They include chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

All of these conditions and more are being treated with cannabis, indicating just how many people’s lives could be changed if Mississippi legalizes medical weed. Eligible applicants would be able to buy a maximum of 2.5 ounces of weed within a two-week period. According to Grantham, patients who enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program would have their information safely stored in a database. Staff at the Department of Health would be responsible for overseeing the system, which Grantham describes as “ a real-time database.”

“When the patient goes to a [cannabis] treatment center and they get their card to be swiped into the facility, they are able to go in and talk with someone to purchase their medication,” she explained.

Signatures must still be certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State after submission

Two-thirds of the 88,185 signatures have been collected thus far, based on an official statement from members of Mississippians for Compassionate Care (MCC), which is leading the strongly-backed campaign. Even though the target number of signatures is likely to be met, activist groups have confirmed that they intend on exceeding the goal. By doing so, they can ensure they have the adequate number of signatures, even if a chunk of them are not valid.

“The campaign is pleased to report that we’ve met with much support and interest throughout the state regarding medical [cannabis] as a treatment option for patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions,” Grantham said, expressing her gratitude for the campaign’s continued success.

Once the minimum number of signatures have been submitted by the September deadline, they must then be certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State. It is also vital that each of Mississippi’s congressional districts sign the ballot measure initiative. Failure to do so means that the state won’t qualify to include medical cannabis legalization on the 2020 ballot.