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Lauderdale County opts out of medical marijuana

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:43 AM CDT
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to opt-out of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Law. The vote came in just a day before the deadline, which is Tuesday.

Joe Norwood and Kyle Rutledge voted for the program, while Jonathan Wells, Wayman Newell and Josh Todd voted against it.

The county has voted to block businesses seeking to cultivate or sell legalized medical marijuana within the county.

We hear from Rutledge about why he voted for the program.

“I voted against the motion to opt-out. The reason I voted against it was because I was for cultivation. I am not for the dispensaries because I don’t want those in the county. I was O.K. with the cultivation part. The main thing is if people want to open a business on their land, then I didn’t want the government to tell them that they couldn’t. I wanted them to have that option if they wanted to, just like any other industry that would come into the county. We don’t regulate that, and I think it should be the same way,” said Rutledge.

Wells explained why he thinks the program is not for the county right now.

“I voted to opt out after giving people a considerate amount of time to contact us. I felt like it was the best thing to do. We don’t have building codes or zoning in the county. That means it is wide open. We could put a dispensary or growery wherever you wanted to. I think it is my job to look out for our citizenry. At this time, I thought it was the right time to opt-out and watch what happens in the city. We can revisit this subject in the future,” said Wells.

Meridian is allowing medical marijuana inside the city limits.

“I think the city is not going to be doing anything; therefore, we have other projects that people have been looking into our community for. We will have medical marijuana here. As everyone already knows, this is about the medical process as well as the economic process. I think that we as a city both the medical part of it as well as the economic part of it,” said Mayor Jimmie Smith.

The county’s vote will not stop people from using legally prescribed marijuana.

Marion will have its vote at its Tuesday night meeting, starting at 6 p.m.

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