Republican Lawmakers Work Towards Medicinal Marijuana Program in Southern State

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Conservative Republican legislators are on the side of dope smokers for a change, Even so, the Bible-belt “reefer-madness” is in full swing. Mississippi isn’t real comfortable with the idea of allowing residents to partake in a little happy weed now and then, even for “medicinal” purposes.

Republican team takes the lead

Republican Senator Kevin Blackwell of Southaven teamed up with fellow GOP registered Representative Lee Yancey of Brandon, as the “lead negotiators” to come up with a medical marijuana program.

It’s a challenge to craft one that works in a state where there is a church on every corner. The voters had created one by ballot initiative in November but the Mississippi Supreme Court didn’t like it so “invalidated one that voters had approved.”

Representative Yancey is convinced that a Republican House bill “would be similar to Initiative 65.” That’s the one voters already passed allowing “medical marijuana use by people with some debilitating conditions.” The state Supreme Court killed the measure on technical grounds in May because “Mississippi’s initiative process is outdated and the medical marijuana measure was not properly on the ballot.”

He wants to “allow the free market to determine which businesses succeed and what businesses fail. We’re giving everybody a fighting chance. We’re also trying to make sure that only the people who are suffering with debilitating medical conditions are the ones who get the benefits.”

Somebody needs to bring Mississippi out of the dark ages of ignorance and deception. Whether they like it or not, there are a whole bunch of Mississippi citizens who consume cannabis on a daily basis. They will continue to do that whether marijuana is legal or not.

Pot has many more uses than detractions and should be freely available to all adults without question or a need for prescription. As long as it’s not, the black market will continue to thrive. And that takes away millions which could be going to the state tax accounts. That’s the part that Republican conservatives like best about it.

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Smell of Special session

After Senator Blackwell popped his head out of the Senate Public Health Committee meeting on Wednesday, which was a hearing on the medical marijuana issue, the Republican stopped to chat with reporters. His draft, he notes, “is similar to a bill the Senate proposed during the regular legislative session earlier this year.” He’s hoping for “a special session by mid-August.”

The smell of one is in the wind but the only problem is that the decision is out of his hands. “Only a governor can call legislators into special session, and the governor decides which issues they may consider.” Everyone hopes Governor Tate Reeves won’t be a Bogart.

The Republican Governor, meanwhile, has made it crystal clear that before he orders legislators into a special session, they better have a real good idea what they want to legislate. Specifically, “he will not call a special session about medical marijuana until lawmakers agree on details of a proposed bill that he can accept.”

Yancy and Blackwell are already working closely behind the scenes because they want to “resolve differences between the Senate and House versions” as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The cartels won’t be going away any time soon though when you consider the Republican efforts are hampered by their own experts. “During the Senate committee hearing Wednesday, Dr. Lynn Parry, a member of the American Medical Association task force on cannabis, advised lawmakers to set limits on THC.”

He’s a total puritan who wants to take all the fun out of it. “If you’re going to treat this as a medical product, then treat it as a medical product,” Parry said. “And follow all of the guidelines and rules that we follow in medicine, which is you keep records, document what you see, make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment for the diagnosis.” Don’t forget, the AMA is only a club. Like the Elks or the Rotarians. Meanwhile, in freedom loving Arizona, they legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. They pulled in “$74,386,952 in marijuana tax revenue since businesses were approved to begin selling the drug recreationally in late January,” according to the Arizona Department of Revenue.