Medical cannabis advocates head for MS state capital to demand special session
Mississippians prepare to protest in front of the governor’s mansion in Jackson, demanding Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session for the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act.
Reeves told lawmakers that if both sides, Republican and Democrat, were able to come to a consensus and draft a bill for a medical cannabis program, he would call a special session.
It’s been three weeks since a consensus was reached and a bill submitted, and Reeves has yet to call a special session, prompting this upcoming protest.
“I hope he’s ready for karaoke because we’ve got loudspeakers; we’ve got tents. We’re going to be there until we get our session,” said Zack Wilson, Vice President of We are the 74.
Wilson’s group We are the 74, representing the 74% of Mississippians who voted for a medical cannabis initiative in the November 2020 elections that was later overturned in State Supreme Court, is heading for Jackson on Monday afternoon.
For Wilson, medical cannabis is a very personal topic.
His story of advocating for the drug began in 2014 when his wife was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma, a brain tumor, and given only three months to live.
“I treated her for two years, and she had a decent quality of life,” Wilson said. “I spent every dollar I had, and when I finally couldn’t afford it anymore, three weeks later the tumor exploded with growth and she was gone.”
Gov. Reeves has made additions to the bill that’s been proposed, like THC caps (a 30% cap on the flower and 60% cap on concentrates), revoking home growing, and sales and excise taxes on the drug.
“It’s going to add somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,700 a year in taxes for patients, $2,700 per patient,” Wilson reiterated. “Insurance doesn’t cover this medication. You want to tax us to be able to buy it, but you’re not going to allow us to grow it at home? We’re the poorest state in country. What sense does that make?”
“If it would’ve been (Reeves’s) wife that he had to deal with with what I dealt with, I guarantee you he would be looking at it very differently,” Wilson said.
Governor Reeves has recently stated he thinks getting it done right is more important than getting it done quick.
“We have brought people in from other states and educated our legislators. Our legislators want this session more than anything,” Wilson said.
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