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Swan Song: Medical marijuana

Mississippi voters will get a chance in November to decide whether to allow the sale of marijuana in our state. It’s being pushed as a medical marijuana initiative.

But make no mistake. It’s the same marijuana people can buy from street dealers.

As expected, the state board of health is against the proposed constitutional amendment. Health officials say the FDA has already approved various drugs in pill form containing marijuana components that help cancer patients and those with epilepsy.

According to the health department, the new initiative will allow for marijuana to be smoked or vaped -- something health officials have fought for years.

Another main objection is that the health department would be in charge of setting and collecting taxes on marijuana to deciding where it can be grown and how the tax revenue is spent. The amendment completely bypasses the legislature and any government accountability -- and places the entire responsibility in the hands of the state board of health, whose members are appointed not elected.

Recent polls show an overwhelming majority of people favor legalized marijuana for medical purposes. If that’s the case, maybe the legislature can step in and amend the initiative.



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