Mississippi Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana

A majority of voters in Mississippi voted to approve Initiative 65, which provides for a state-regulated marijuana access system for qualified patients. Conversely, voters rejected a far more restrictive effort placed on the ballot by the legislature, Measure 65A.

Commenting on the outcome, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Initiative 65 puts the needs and interests of patients first. This was a grassroots effort to provide patients with access to a treatment option that patients already enjoy in 34 other states and in the District of Columbia. By contrast, Measure 65A was a cynical effort by lawmakers to misdirect voters. The same state lawmakers that for decades had refused to ever seriously address the issue were the ones behind 65A, and voters wisely rejected their campaign.”

Initiative 65 establishes a system of state-licensed dispensaries to engage in the retail dispensing of cannabis and cannabis products to patients with a doctor’s authorization. The measure places no limit on the number of dispensaries that may be licensed in the state, and mandates that local municipalities “shall not impair the availability of and reasonable access to medical marijuana.” The proposal further mandates that state officials begin providing licenses for retailers no later than August 15, 2021.