Legislators OK Final Version of Justice Bill

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Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi lawmakers have revised and passed the final version of a bill designed to make the state's criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive.

On Thursday, the House voted 105-13 and the Senate voted unanimously to send House Bill 585 to Gov. Phil Bryant.

Both chambers had passed a version of the bill Monday, but it was put on hold and sent back for more negotiations.

During the final round of talks, legislators expanded drug-trafficking provisions to add penalties for anyone convicted of having at least a kilogram of marijuana. Punishment would be 10 to 40 years in prison.

House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson says until now, people with that amount of marijuana have been prosecuted for possession of an illegal substance rather than drug trafficking.