Marijuana-Friendly Mississippi



Shannon Smothers-Wansley joined Mississippi’s latest marijuana legalization push for her grandmother, who passed away in September 2011 after battling dementia, which took away her appetite.

“If she had access to something with cannabis in it, she would not have died of starvation,”

Smothers-Wansley told the Jackson Free Press.

The potential of cannabis as an appetite stimulant is among the key arguments from proponents of rolling back legal restrictions for marijuana for its medicinal purposes.

However, opponents of legalizing, or decriminalizing, weed point to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recognize cannabis or its extracts as a medicine. And despite the growing number of states and cities that have decided to start looking the other way when it comes to small amounts of recreational marijuana, the federal government continues to define marijuana as a Schedule-1 drug on the same level as heroin and cocaine.

But advocates in the Magnolia State hope that the momentum toward legalization, which is bolstered by the presence of the nation’s medical marijuana farm at Ole Miss, has made Mississippi more 420 friendly.

Last week, organizers of a statewide ballot initiative to legal and decriminalize, submitted language for the measure with the Mississippi secretary of state.

The proposal would end the prohibition on cannabis and fully legalize the use and taxation of marijuana for adults over age 21. Recreational users could have nine or fewer marijuana plants for their personal use. The state would classify anyone with more than nine plants as a cannabis farmer, required to pay an annual $25 fee to the local municipal or county. Prospective dispensers would have to pay $1,000 for a special license. Additionally, a state sales tax of 7 percent would be charged on all sales with the exception of medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

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Story by R.L. Nave


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