Mississippi: Town Hall Meeting On Marijuana Legalization Initiative Friday In Jackson
By Steve Elliott
A group which is gathering signatures to legalize marijuana in Mississippi has scheduled a town hall meeting for 2-3 p.m. on Friday, January 9, at the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson. At the meeting, representatives of Mississippi For Cannabis will answer questions about the group's ballot initiative, and the petition will be available for signatures.
The ballot initiative would allow the use, cultivation and sale of marijuana and industrial hemp for adults 21 years or older, reports Jimmie E. Gates at The Clarion-Ledger.
The group needs more than 107,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot. The deadline for the 2016 ballot is October 2, 2015, according to sponsor Kelly Jacobs. If they miss that deadline the group plans to shoot for the November 2017 ballot, for which the deadline is December 29, 2015.
"If the ballot initiative gets the necessary signatures and is approved by voters in a referendum, it would make it legal for adults to possess cannabis in unlimited quantities, to use as they wish, just like alcohol or cigarettes," Jacobs said. "However, it would have to be kept from minors.
"We want to legalize marijuana and decriminalize it," she said. "It's an adult discussion we should be having."
"I strongly believe Mississippians can benefit from legalizing cannabis," said Joyce Ann Paden of Amory. "I do not use cannabis in any form; however for government to tell me that I can only medicate my ailments with man-made chemicals that they approve instead of leaving the judgment to me, for that, I am fighting for my right to make my own decisions without someone dictating what is best for me."
Predictably, former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Marshall Fisher opposes the measure, because he believes the same tired, old Drug War fallacies. He said he'll vote no if the initiative is placed on the ballot, because he believes it will lead to "drug addiction."
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Graphic: Marijuana Public Media