Thursday, August 11, 2022

Proposed legislation would limit medical marijuana to ‘non-combustibles’ only

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Whereas many state lawmakers are grappling with the quantity that sufferers could be allowed below proposed medical marijuana is legalized, one South Mississippi senator needs to ban joints altogether.

Sen. Angela Harris is introducing what she says is a reliable medical marijuana invoice that may ban flamable merchandise and make non-combustible merchandise more durable to acquire.

“My invoice is safer and is extra of a real medicinal program,” she mentioned. “It protects kids as a result of it requires a pharmacist to be concerned.”

The invoice would additionally place restrictions on how a lot marijuana a affected person might obtain, in addition to require a pharmacist to dole out quantities based mostly on docs’ suggestions.

“The physician will enter (the quantity) right into a system the place it may be tracked and saved up with,” she mentioned. “When a affected person will get their card, they are going to be even be registered with the well being division. They’ll go to a specialty pharmacy, and the pharmacist can go below that particular person’s title and see what sort of dosage is really useful.”

“You might be given a dosage by a health care provider. If you’re not (a) terminal (affected person), and you’ve got greater than you’re allowed, you may lose your license.”

Whereas the sort of weed you smoke could be prohibited, she mentioned sufferers might nonetheless acquire marijuana in different kinds, akin to liquids, tablets, patches, lotions, nebulizers, and suppositories.

Hill, who represents Pearl River County and Marion counties, mentioned she is introducing the invoice, partly, based mostly on discussions she’s had with voters.

“After they voted for this, they didn’t understand for folks to go in and get a bag of weed,” she mentioned. “They thought they have been voting for some sort of medicinal type of marijuana.”

In November 2020, almost 75 % of voters within the state accredited Initiative 65, which legalized medical marijuana. The measure was challenged and eventually overturned by Mississippi Supreme Court.

Hill mentioned she’s spoken to quite a few civic membership conferences, the place folks have approached her in regards to the poll initiative.

“After they noticed medical, they thought it was some sort of medical type of marijuana,” she mentioned. “That’s what I’ve been instructed throughout, at conferences throughout the state… In the event you take a look at medication, sometimes one thing you smoke will not be medication.”

Hill is also introducing the measure after wanting into what occurred after medical marijuana was legalized in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma voters accredited medical hashish in 2018. Under the law, patients can legally have up to three ounces of weed in public and up to eight ounces at home, Marijuana Moment reported. The legislation, which is a part of the state’s structure, additionally spells out necessities for growers and sellers.

“Do a easy Google search of what’s occurring in Oklahoma and also you’ll discover a number of information tales about what’s occurring. There are such a lot of licenses regulators can’t sustain with it.”

She additionally says there are circumstances of contaminated marijuana being bought, in addition to gangs and cartels concerned within the sale and manufacturing of the product.

According to a November 2021 article in Politico, the Sooner State locations no limits on the variety of enterprise licenses that may be granted. On the time, greater than 9,000 licenses had been issued.

In the meantime, Politico says legislation enforcement officers there say the legislation’s residency necessities for marijuana companies are straightforward to skirt, and that some companies have ties to “worldwide legal syndicates with roots in China, Mexico – and even Bulgaria.”

We reached out to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, the company that oversees the state’s medical hashish program, after hours, however haven’t gotten a reply.

Hill mentioned her invoice would restrict licenses for growers and provides universities the primary proper to refusal.

“If universities resolve to take it on, they might use that cash to do analysis, complement working bills, complement tuition,” she mentioned.

Growers would even have to satisfy different necessities, akin to having insurance coverage and working capital.

“This isn’t about having entry,” she mentioned. “It’s the tactic and unintended penalties which are my concern. I don’t need folks getting sub-standard merchandise and (I don’t need the scenario) to get so out of hand that we can not keep high quality management.”

Rep. Lee Yancey addressed a few of Hill’s considerations when he pushed again in opposition to Gov. Tate Reeves’ considerations with proposed medical marijuana laws.

Yancey instructed WLBT that the invoice the legislature would have introduced forth throughout a particular session final yr and is planning to carry ahead once more this yr would have addressed lots of the considerations raised by Hill and Gov. Reeves.

In the meantime, Yancey, who spoke to us previous to our interview with Hill, says comparisons to Oklahoma’s program and the at present drafted laws are incorrect, akin to provisions to handle high quality management.

The 2022 Mississippi Legislative Session begins Tuesday on the Mississippi State Capitol.

Courtney Ann Jackson contributed to this story.

Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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