This November 2020 election, cannabis legalization initiatives will appear on the ballots of five states: Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. Every Sunday until November 3, Canna Law Blog will publish a post centered on one of these state ballot initiatives, and the current laws surrounding cannabis in that state. Last Sunday, we discussed the proposition on the ballot in Arizona. Today is the second post, in which we discuss Mississippi Ballot Measure 1, known as the Medical Marijuana Initiative. Mississipians will vote on two versions of this initiative: Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A.
What are the current laws surrounding cannabis in Mississippi?
Cannabis, recreational or medical, is currently not legal in Mississippi. The state has, however, decriminalized cannabis for personal use to a certain extent; the penalty for a first-time possession offense is a fine rather than jail time. However, the illegality of cannabis in Mississippi disproportionately impacts black people, who are 2.7 times more likely to be arrested on a cannabis-related charge than white people in the state.
Additionally, in 2014, the passage of Harper’s Grace Law by the state legislature legalized the use of CBD oil for medical use by individuals with debilitating epileptic