Voters have approved an activist-led initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi, according to a projection by local outlet Y’all Politics.
The measure faced a series of unique challenges ahead of the election, principally the addition of a more restrictive alternative measure that the legislature placed on the ballot and the resulting two-step question voters faced.
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The proposal will allow patients with debilitating medical issues to legally obtain marijuana after getting a doctor’s recommendation. It includes 22 qualifying conditions such as cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, and patients would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana per 14-day period.
“This is a huge day for Mississippi and I couldn’t be more excited, humbled or thankful,” Jamie Grantham, communications director for the pro-legalization Mississippians for Compassionate Care, said in a press release.
WE DID IT!
What an incredible day for patients!
Voters overwhelmingly approved INITIATIVE 65, making Mississippi the 35th state to establish a medical marijuana program. Thank you to everyone who supported 65 & got out & voted today. You made a difference for these patients! pic.twitter.com/E1vHB1OG1i
— Medical Marijuana 2020 (@medmarijuanams) November 4, 2020
Activists are breathing a sigh of relief with this election outcome, as there were deep concerns that the inclusion of the less detailed alternative on the ballot would confuse voters and cause both to fail. They suspected that was the intent of the legislature, which has been resistant to cannabis reform and only pursued the alternative after the campaign’s version qualified.
“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,” NORML Deputy Director