A Mississippi senator brought hemp to the governor’s office last week — to show the governor what limits would look like under lawmakers’ proposed medical marijuana bill, reports the Mississippi Free Press (in an article republished by Marijuana Moment).
Voters approved medical cannabis in a 2020 ballot initiative, and the state Legislature’s plan has been through multiple discussions and adjustments leading up to the 2022 session, reports Nick Judin for the Mississippi Free Press. The plan has the support of the majority in both the House and Senate, Governor Tate Reeves (R) stands in opposition to its limit or four ounces per month, and holds veto power.
“I believe 11 joints a day, every day, for everyone with a MJ card is too much!” the governor wrote on Facebook December 30. “And I believe the potential of 100,000,000 joints PER MONTH on the streets is more of a recreational program.”
So just before the start of the 2022 session one senator sought a meeting. He wanted to show the governor what a week’s supply would look like.
“Wednesday afternoon [Jan. 5], Sen. Kevin Blackwell (R), who is the architect of the medical-marijuana bill on the Senate side, had a final meeting with Gov. Reeves to come to an agreement on the bill’s last details,” Judin wrote. “Reeves’s opposition to the plan has evolved from vague distaste to the promise of a veto if the bill approves medical-marijuana recipients for the currently planned amount of marijuana.”
“Reeves’s opposition to the plan has evolved from vague distaste to the promise of a veto if the bill approves medical-marijuana recipients for the currently planned amount of marijuana.”
— Nick Judin for the Mississippi Free Press
Blackwell told the Free Press he brought hemp to the meeting.
“I took samples to show him what an ounce actually looks like—what 3.5 grams actually looks like,” he said.
While the governor made no commitments, Blackwell recapped the meeting with optimism.
“I thought it went well,” Blackwell told the Free Press. “[The governor] was receptive, appreciative of the meeting. Hopefully we moved the bar a little bit closer to an agreement. He was non-committal, so they’re going to think about what we said and get back with us. … We’ve presented what we thought was reasonable. The amount has not changed. It’s still four ounces [per month] right now.”
Blackwell told the Free Press he hoped proposed safeguards against recreational use, such as ensuring that doctor-patient relationship is genuine and tracking sales, would assuage the governor’s concerns about supply.
“We talked about the differences between what he has portrayed as being Oklahoma’s bill…to the things that we’ve done, what we’ve put in place, the safeguards which Oklahoma didn’t have,” he said. “They didn’t have a seed-to-sale tracking system. I don’t believe there’s any cap on the [qualifying] diagnoses, we have, I think, 28 debilitating diagnoses. … Counties and municipalities can opt out of the program. We’ve gotten so many [safeguards] in place.”