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Mississippi House kills legislative alternative to Initiative 65

Medical marijuana

The Mississippi Legislature’s fail-safe medical marijuana alternative has died after it didn’t make it through the House of Representatives.

Following its late-night passage by the Senate earlier in the session, the language within ‘Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act’ was then gutted by the House Ways & Means Committee and replaced with the language of Initiative 65—the medical marijuana program adopted by over 70% of Mississippi voters in November.

The initiative is currently being challenged by the city of Madison and is set to receive a ruling from the Mississippi Supreme Court in April. This bill was set up to only take effect should the court rule that in favor of the city which is arguing that the initiative wasn’t properly certified by the Secretary of State’s office.

After a procedural spat between Rep. Joel Bomgar, who was an integral part of the development of Initiative 65, and Rep. Trey Lamar, Chairman of Ways & Means, Lamar eventually announced his intent to “lay the bill on the table”—signaling the bill’s end on a deadline day at the capitol. The announcement was met with applause as Lamar explained that it was the will of the chamber to not move the bill forward.

Should the court decide to strike down Initiative 65, the state would be left without a medical marijuana program for the time being.

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