Mississippi is a very conservative state. I mean, the confederate flag is still a part of its flag (weed leaves not included). No matter which states people include as their view of the Deep South, Mississippi would be in all of them. Surprisingly, although Mississippi doesn’t have legal recreational marijuana, it is decriminalized. Like South Dakota, Mississippi will be seeing a marijuana initiative on their November 2020 ballot, aiming for a legal medical marijuana program.
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Mississippi Medical Marijuana
So voters of Mississippi can expect two marijuana related questions on the ballot. This is because there are two separate initiatives put forward to amend the states medical marijuana laws.
The first question will be voting for “either measure” or “neither measure”. If either measure is ticked, you will then be able to choose your preference between Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A.
Initiative 65 would look pretty standard to most states medical marijuana programs. There would be 22 qualifying conditions, which covers all the typical conditions you’d expect such as epilepsy, seizures, wasting syndrome, chronic pain etc. It also would cover a few other conditions that aren’t often seen on these lists, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces at a time, and smoking marijuana would be an acceptable form of consumption.
Alternative 65A is basically a watered-down version of Initiative 65. There aren’t a lot of details around it yet, despite being confirmed for the ballot in November. It would still establish a state medical marijuana program, however, it would allow the legislature the power to decide most of the details. Qualifying conditions would be based on “sound medical principles“, which makes it sound limited at best. Patients also couldn’t legally smoke marijuana, unless they were terminally ill.
Current Marijuana Laws In Mississippi
So given Mississippi has decriminalized, it’s laws aren’t too bad provided you’re possessing a small amount and aren’t attempting to sell. For up to 30 grams (slightly more than an ounce) you’ll only see a maximum fine of $250, provided it’s your first offense. If it’s your second, you’ll spend a minimum of 5 days in prison, which could go up to 60 days. Same for your third offense, however that 60 days maximum turns into 6 months (accompanied by a $1000 fine). For any amounts greater than that, the fines and incarceration times just keep on increasing. Selling any amount up to 30 grams could result in 3 years in jail.
Will Mississippi Get Legal Medical Marijuana?
Initiative 65 came into existence as it received the required 200,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Due to the states generally conservative stance, Alternative 65A was introduced, being a far more restrictive version. Proponents to legalization believe that Alternative 65A was introduced as a mechanism to confuse voters, and to split the vote between the two initiatives.
Is Weed Legal In Louisiana?
Anyway, back to whether Mississippi will be seeing legal marijuana. According to Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), “polling suggests most voters support the proposal, but some prominent politicians are opposed“.
It’s still too early to say with much confidence, but the important thing at the moment is that residents will get an opportunity to have a say on the matter.