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Mississippi medical marijuana special session unlikely

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:41 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A special session for medical marijuana is seeming unlikely as the regular session is only a few weeks away.

Area lawmakers attended Meridian Community College’s annual legislative luncheon Thursday, where News 11 talked with them about the proposed bill.

Tension has been high in the state as the decision on holding a special session for medical marijuana is uncertain.

“About two months ago there was a draft of the proposed medical marijuana bill it was 144 pages. It was a compromise between the leaders of the house and the senate that then went to the governor for the governor to take a look and see if he had anything he wanted to add or take away from it. That changed the bill to 277 pages,” said Mississippi Senator, Jeff Tate.

Governor Tate Reeves said his concern is the amount of marijuana allowed per person. He recently said ‘11 joints a day’ is not medical marijuana.

Senator Jeff Tate and Representative Charles Young Jr. said they also have concerns about the bill.

“Just where all this would be allowed. I think that there’s definitely a need. I have seen and I’ve heard from enough people that have told me that this can be a medicine and it’s just a matter that we make sure that it is a medicine. It’s nothing more than that. We have to understand that this is going to be controversial, and I think we need to go slow with the conservative approach to it,” said Tate.

“I personally don’t know any medicine that I pay tax on and if this is going to be for medical purposes then people are going to be taxed for buying medicine. I don’t agree with that,” said Mississippi Representative, Charles Young, Jr.

Young says he believes many lawmakers will vote no on the bill and believes a special session won’t happen by the end of the year.

“The legislature has stepped up. The legislature is putting a bill together for the state of Mississippi to approve a statutory position and that would be the best position for us to have,” said Young, Jr.

Mississippi’s regular session begins in January.

According to the National Council of State Legislators, 36 states have legalized medical marijuana programs.

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