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The campaign to make medical marijuana available in Mississippi
25. What is the medical marijuana 2020 ballot initiative?
This initiative, which would be on the November 2020 general election ballot as a proposed amendment to the Mississippi State Constitution, would allow patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana to relieve pain and other symptoms and effects of those conditions.
26. What do doctors in Mississippi think about this initiative, and who else is backing this initiative?
This initiative is backed by a variety of physicians and medical organizations, as well as law enforcement representatives, veterans, and church leaders in Mississippi. Click here to see this initiative’s Steering Committee.
27. What is a ballot initiative?
Mississippi’s ballot initiative law allows citizens to directly amend the State Constitution. The ballot initiative process itself is set forth in the Mississippi State Constitution. For an initiative to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 86,185 certified signatures must be gathered with at least 17,237 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. The signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks.
28. What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana is state regulated marijuana that is obtained from a licensed treatment center in Mississippi and is used by a patient to treat a debilitating medical condition. This proposal only authorizes the use of medical marijuana that is obtained from a licensed treatment center, and is regulated and tested for safety.
29. Why is this ballot initiative important?
- It will provide Mississippians with qualifying debilitating medical conditions the ability to access medical marijuana treatment locally within the state of Mississippi without forcing them to travel or move out of state in order to obtain treatment for themselves or their families.
- It will provide additional options to physicians, allowing them greater freedom to recommend more comprehensive treatment plans for their patients.
- Medical marijuana has medicinal properties that can improve quality of life, treat, and in some cases eliminate, symptoms of illnesses in ways that are more effective in some situations than traditional, prescribed medicine.
- Medical marijuana is a much safer alternative to opioids for pain management. It can be used in place of opioids, or in conjunction with opioids (i.e. in some cases, medical marijuana can be used to manage ongoing pain, and if needed an opioid for severe breakthrough pain). Additionally, opioid overdoses are as much as 25% lower in states where medical marijuana is available as an alternative to opioids.
- Veterans now account for 20% of all suicides in the United States. 18-22 veterans commit suicide every day, many of them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical marijuana is a safe and effective treatment to assist veterans in managing the debilitating symptoms and effects of PTSD.
30. Who will be helped by allowing medical marijuana in Mississippi?
Patients who suffer from a range of debilitating medical conditions and serious illnesses.
31. What debilitating medical conditions will be covered?
Debilitating medical conditions include cancer, epilepsy or other seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cachexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, chronic or debilitating pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glaucoma, agitation of Alzheimer's dementias, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Sickle-Cell Anemia, autism with aggressive or self-injurious behaviors, pain refractory to appropriate opioid dependence management, spinal cord disease or severe injury, intractable nausea, severe muscle spasticity, or another medical condition of the same kind or class for which a physician believes the use of medical marijuana may be beneficial.