Marijuana Moment reports
The governor of Mississippi is hinting he might veto a medical marijuana bill that lawmakers have been negotiating unless they sharply reduce the amount of cannabis it would allow patients to purchase.
Medicinal or Recreational marijuana? That is the question.
I’ve repeatedly told the members of the Legislature that I am willing to sign a bill that is truly medical marijuana. One that has reasonable restrictions to ensure that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on Mississippi’s economy. One that has reasonable restrictions to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt Mississippi families. A program that helps those Mississippians who truly need it for an illness.
In many ways, the work done on the original draft of the Legislature’s bill helped address some of these issues. There is one remaining point in question that is VERY important: how much marijuana any one individual can get in any given day.
Unlike any other drug, this program allows virtually unlimited access to marijuana once you qualify. There is no pharmacist involved and no doctor setting the amount. There is only what legislators call a “budtender” serving you pot.
We don’t have “pilltenders” for other medicine. This is unique.
The bill allows any individual to get 3.5 grams of marijuana per day. A simple google search shows that the average joint has 0.32 grams of marijuana. Therefore any one individual can get enough weed to smoke 11 joints a day. Every day.
In Oklahoma (which has a similar system of dispensing to what is proposed) 376,000 Oklahomans have signed up for a marijuana card. That is roughly 10% of the population of the entire state. An equivalent sign-up rate in Mississippi would yield 300,000 Mississsippians with a card to get up to 11 joints per day. That would allow the disbursement of 3.3 million joints per day in our state, which is the equivalent of approximately 100 million joints per month.
That would be 1.2 billion legal joints sold in Mississippi per year. Call me crazy, but I just think that’s too broad of a starting point.
I am asking the Legislature to simply cut that amount in half to start the program. It is a simple fix.
If it is determined in the future that more pot is needed in Mississippi, that could always be increased in future legislative sessions. Why not start carefully? I believe that is a reasonable approach.
If you disagree, I respect your opinion. We can sit down five years from now and take a thorough review of the actual outcomes. But—as the dad of three daughters that I love dearly—I cannot put my name on a bill that puts that much marijuana on the streets of Mississippi.
I hope that legislative leaders will see fit to consider reducing the tremendous amount of weed they seek to make legally accessible so that I can sign their bill and we can put this issue to rest.
God bless you, Mississippi!!
Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that he feels that 3.5 grams per day per patient is too much, and the legislature should “simply cut that amount in half to start the program” and reassess after several years if more is needed.
The governor’s demand is the latest headache for legislators as they try to enact a medical cannabis program in line with what voters approved in 2020 before the state’s highest court’s invalidated the initiative for procedural reasons.
“I’ve repeatedly told the members of the Legislature that I am willing to sign a bill that is truly medical marijuana,” Reeves wrote. “One that has reasonable restrictions to ensure that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on Mississippi’s economy. One that has reasonable restrictions to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt Mississippi families. A program that helps those Mississippians who truly need it for an illness.”