November 23, 2020

Mississippi approves medical marijuana amendment

Voters also approved the legalization of medical marijuana in Mississippi, choosing to adopt the less restrictive of two medical marijuana ballot measures.

Initiative 65 amends the Mississippi Constitution to allow the prescription by a doctor of up to 5 ounces (142 grams) of marijuana per month for people who suffer from more than 20 medical conditions.

The Mississippi Department of Health will issue a medical marijuana identification card that would allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from a licensed treatment center. Marijuana sales can be taxed at the current state sales tax rate of 7%.

More than 100,000 people signed petitions to put Initiative 65 on the ballot. Voters had to choose between Initiative 65 and another medical marijuana measure, Alternative 65A, which was a more restrictive policy.

Alternative 65A, authored by members of the Mississippi Legislature, would have restricted smoking marijuana to people with terminal illnesses, although people who are ill but not dying could use oils or other forms of the drug. Alternative 65A left tax rates, possession limits and certain other details to the Legislature, instead of putting those details in the constitution.