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Mississippi Senator hopes to finish up final draft of medical marijuana bill today

Image courtesy of Harvard Health

Senator Kevin Blackwell tells SuperTalk Mississippi he’s hoping to finish up the final draft of a medical marijuana bill today.  He says lawmakers are getting close to an agreement on something will that replace Initiative 65, which was struck down by the state Supreme Court.

Blackwell told us they’ve covered a lot of ground since House Speaker Philip Gunn assigned Representative Lee Yancey to take the lead on the house side.  But don’t expect a call for a special session on the issue anytime soon.  “Then it’ll have to go through more Senators taking a look at it, and then over to the House, and we have the Governor’s Office that needs to weigh in.”

During an interview on The Gallo Show, Blackwell also discussed upcoming Medicaid hearings.  They’re expected to begin next month.  While he says they won’t necessarily be about Medicaid expansion, lawmakers are trying to find a way to help Mississippians that are falling through the cracks.

Some states are tapping into the private insurance market.  “Going into our state health plan, for instance, and adding all those people to the rolls.  We should be able to get a much lower premium rate,” he told us.  He estimates that could help about 150-thousand Mississippians.  “All the other states have hit a number.  That’s usually doubled,” he continued.

Mississippi is one of 14 states that have rejected an all-out expansion of Medicaid.

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