Mississippians for Compassionate Care, the group behind Medical Marijuana 2020, has succeeded in putting a medical cannabis measure, Initiative 65, in front of Mississippi voters this November. State legislators have also introduced a competing measure, Alternative 65A, to appear on the ballot. Voters can choose between those two options or choose not to legalize medical cannabis in the state.
Medical Marijuana 2020 gathered 105,686 certified signatures, more than the required 86,185, for its initiative to appear on the ballot. The group gathered signatures from Mississippi’s five congressional districts from 2000, as is required by state law, and qualified for the ballot in January, said Jamie Grantham, communications director for the campaign.
“Our medical marijuana program here in Mississippi is going to be a robust program in that patients who need help will actually have access to regulated, safe, secure medical marijuana,” Grantham said. “It is going to be a strictly regulated program made especially for Mississippi. It’ll be regulated by the Mississippi Department of Health, and medical marijuana treatment centers here in Mississippi will be the only places that medical marijuana will be available.”
The state representatives behind Alternative 65A could not be reached for comment by Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.
According to a January 2019 survey from Millsaps College and Chism Strategies, 67% of respondents supported Medical Marijuana 2020’s proposal.
Medical Marijuana 2020 has a steering committee that Grantham said includes “influential leaders in the community, like physicians, religious leaders, veterans, law enforcement, business leaders.” Seventy-seven committee members are listed on the campaign website.
“The whole heart of the campaign, all the support, everything—it’s specifically for patients with those medical conditions; they live with that day in and day out,” Grantham said. “And there’s just no reason why they shouldn’t have access to a plant that God