SEATTLE, Wa.–Making marijuana legal in Mississippi seems like a concept that’s a long way from happening, if you ask many of the state’s current lawmakers. The man who started “Marijuana Venture” magazine, though, believes there could be some big time advantages if Mississippi were to come on board.
“Both the states have about a billion dollars a year projected revenue,” said Greg James, who operates his magazine in Seattle. Recreational pot is legal there and in Oregon.
“I started this magazine as a pure business magazine. I didn’t want to be like ‘High Times’. I wanted it to be all about the business of marijuana. It’s gone from being an eight-page newsletter to being almost a hundred pages in seven months.”
James, who is not a marijuana user himself, believes that society in his home state has suffered no negative effects since the legalization.
“If you came to Seattle, it wouldn’t seem any different today than it would five to ten years ago. There aren’t people walking around smoking pot.”
In Mississippi, there have been polls that suggest residents do support marijuana legalization, but each time it has come up in the state legislature, the subject has died a quick death.
Sen. Debra Dawkins (D-Pass Christian) has suggested the legislature take up a bill. Most state Republicans and Democrats, though, seem either silent on the matter or are directly against it.
“That’s so ridiculous,” said Gov. Bryant before the 2014 legislative session. “I think you’re gonna look back at Colorado (where it is legal) in probably five to 8 years and they’re gonna be trying to reverse that. To have an opportunity for people to go and buy what should be a controlled substance. California is gonna pay the price.”
Bryant said any “rational member” of the legislature would not bring it up.
“I think will not be something we will be spending any of our time on.”
James said he believes the financial benefits could be lucrative for any state that passed legalization.
“The main reason I am for is the demand was there before, the demand is there now. The state is getting some tax money out of it, instead of the money all flowing to Mexico and the black market.”
As for who can sell it, James said Washington makes potential retailers pass a criminal background check and prove their investment comes from legitimate sources.
To buy it, all you have to do is prove you’re 21. But, you are limited to a certain amount and it is hard to go to a state where it is legal and buy very much to take home.
In Mississippi, it is completely illegal and will still get you arrested.