TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- People may soon be able to obtain and use medical marijuana in Mississippi.
On Wednesday, advocates for its use in the state explained in a press briefing a plan called Initiative 65, one of the two proposed amendments for incorporating medical marijuana usage in Mississippi.
The general election on November 3 will allow voters to say if they want medical marijuana legalized in the state. If they vote for it, they will then choose which one of the two proposed amendments they want to govern its usage.
Medical Marijuana 2020 is a ballot initiative that hopes to make medical marijuana available for patients.
The organization is operated and funded by Mississippians for Compassionate Care, a group of Mississippians with a firm belief in marijuana’s medical usage to alleviate pain for people with debilitating and chronic medical conditions.
Speakers on Thursday explained some of the differences between the two proposed amendments. The other is called Alternative 65-A.
Jamie Grantham is Communications Director for Medical Marijuana 2020. She explained this initiative’s goal is to allow marijuana to be used to ease the suffering of seriously ill patients.
“There are patients here who are suffering.” Grantham said. “I have heard countless stories of patients who are desperate for another option because traditional pharmaceutical medications are not working.”
Doctor Matthew B. Wesson M.D. is an ophthalmologist, a doctor who works with people’s eyes. He said politicians have not allowed for medical marijuana in the state. He claimed a majority of the state supports it, and that's why it will be on the ballots on November 3rd.
“This is not for someone who has a headache or a sore shoulder, Wesson said. “They’re not gonna be able to get it. By the time you need medical marijuana, you’re sick.”
He said there are 22 medical conditions under Initiative 65 that will make someone a candidate for medical marijuana. Some include cancer, PTSD, and sickle-cell anemia.
Speakers at the event support Initiative 65 over Alternative 65-A, which is a plan Wesson said state politicians put together for allowing marijuana in Mississippi. Wesson also said that 34 other states currently allow for medical marijuana usage.
“We’re not talking about California and Colorado where it’s recreationally legalized,” Navy Veteran and briefing speaker Cody Weaver said.
Weaver said his reasons for supporting medical marijuana are personal.
“18-22 veterans committing suicide a day for PTSD-related emotional problems and illness is unacceptable,” Weaver said.
According to Grantham, it’s time for voters to make this change.
“It’s not a cure-all for everyone, but for so many people in thirty-four other states, it is changing lives, and Mississippians deserve to have that same access,” Grantham said.
Speakers at the briefing said people can visit Medical Marijuana 2020'S website for success stories, information on Initiative 65, ways to get involved, and other resources. You can find the link here.