Mississippians Push to Legalize Cannabis and Demand Forgiveness

By Kelly Jacobs, Team Legalize

The Mississippimississippi Secretary of State just approved ballot initiative #48 on 12/29/14 which gave Mississippians one year to collect approximately 110K signatures on our petitions from registered voters who want to vote to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol and pardon non-violent cannabis offenders.

The Mississippi Attorney General wrote this description for the ballot summary: Initiative Measure No. 48 would legalize the use, cultivation, sale of cannabis and industrial hemp. Cannabis related crimes would be punished in a manner similar to, or to a lesser degree, than alcohol related crimes. Cannabis sales would be taxed 7%. Cannabis sold for medical purposes and industrial hemp would be exempt from taxation. The Governor would be required to pardon persons convicted of non violent cannabis crimes against the State of Mississippi.

Volunteers for this unfunded, grass roots Initiative 48 named themselves Team Legalize and at the time of this article have more than 900 volunteers all over the state helping gather signatures for #bi48 plus thousands more who are helping on the “down low”. Some businesses are helping by offering some counter space for the petition and inviting the public to come and sign it when they are open for business. Celebrities are asked to help: please use your own dime to host a voter registration rally so that Team Legalize can also collect petition signatures!

If 110K certified signatures are turned in to the SOS by October 2, 2015, this initiative will be presented to the first meeting of the 2016 MS State Legislature which will have 3 options: #1 they can adopt it and make it law! #2 they can put it onto the Presidential 2016 ballot or #3 they can offer their own amendment to put onto the ballot along side #bi48.

Mississippians will have to hurry and sign the #bi48 petition to make this happen by 2016, but if there are not enough signatures for the Oct 2nd deadline they can fall back on the one year deadline, but then the initiative will be presented to Mississippi’s 2017 Legislature.

Currently, we estimate that Mississippi arrests more than 12,000+ people every year on marijuana charges, and spends $200 Million to adjudicate and jail people for a crime that has no victim. Our proposal would change the laws so that cannabis would be lawful for adults, and legislated just like liquor. Just like it is nobody’s business how much wine is in your wine cellar, cannabis would not be anyone’s business unless abused. Local Circuit Clerks would issue $1,000 permits to sell cannabis, and $25.00 permits to cannabis farmers who are defined as someone who has 10 – 500 marijuana plants and the CC’s keep that money. A Mississippian who grows one to nine cannabis plants for personal use does not pay any fee. Medicinal cannabis would be regulated by the MS Dept of Health and Industrial hemp would be regulated by the MS Dept of Agriculture. Mississippi Farmers would again be allowed to grow Industrial Hemp which is a type of cannabis plant with low THC and is ready for harvest in about 100 days. Industrial Hemp is already a lawful crop in neighboring Tennessee and requires less water and pesticides than cotton and has more buyers who want to purchase it for oil, fiber and food.

Another purpose of our initiative is to achieve social justice. If marijuana becomes legal, then our government made a mistake by making it illegal, and we must forgive our government. Our Government has lied and we must forgive them for ruining the lives of Mississippians. To do that, our initiative 48 requires that our Governor PARDON non-violent cannabis offenders, past and present. We want the jails emptied of non-violent cannabis offenders, families reunited and criminal records expunged so that Mississippians can work and support themselves and their families.

The Feds have said that marijuana has no medicinal value, while they have a patent and collect royalties! That’s right, our Federal Government has a patent on the medical derivatives of marijuana and a pharmaceutical company pays them royalties. 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and the press reported that the VA has recommended that cannabis may be prescribed for our Veterans who need it.

There has been resistance from MS Mayors who refuse to allow (the not for profit group) Team Legalize use their facilities to host town hall meetings, newspapers that refuse to write about it and Circuit Clerks who refuse to accept petitions, but legalizing cannabis resonates with many Mississippians who want it legalized.

Team Legalize has a supportive FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/YesOnProposition48/ and if someone wants to volunteer, they are asked to email their name, county and phone number to Kellitaj@aol.com. A supportive group called The Mississippi Alliance For Cannabis shares a downloadable #bi48 petition, a MS voter registration form and posts upcoming #bi48 events on their website: www.yesonproposition48.org

Time is waiting for no-one. The question for young Mississippians is, will enough of you register to vote and sign ballot initiative petition #48 to get it on the ballot?

16 thoughts on “Mississippians Push to Legalize Cannabis and Demand Forgiveness”

  1. Please consider the broader social impact of legalization of marijuana on:

    >citizens’ health in publicly shared air spaces
    >traffic violations
    >accidents in the workplace
    >Mississippi’s economy

    Marijuana is hugely invasive of the personal space of those nearby in terms of air quality and heavy, noxious odor. Smoke of any kind can spread into the personal space of other people. Legalization increases the chances of public exposure in situations as common as strolling through a public Walmart parking lot, living in an apartment with no firewall or with shared vent work, entering a public restroom, etc.

    The number of people in the U.S., who have either allergy or asthma symptoms is one in five and increasing.
    Allergy ranks fifth in leading chronic disease. The cost to U.S. business and the health care system is approximately $8,000,000,000,000 (eight billion dollars) annually. (http://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-statistics)

    Marijuana is a weed. Those with outdoor weed allergies and asthma, including children, could face life-threatening exposure. Ask anyone knowledgeable who is allergic to poison ivy (also a weed) about the increased intensity of the reaction as it is burned. Apply this concept to those allergic to marijuana, a weed which is burned.

    Allergies and odor allergies which trigger symptoms that mimic allergy can occur. Severe respiratory or neurological reactions can be life-threatening. Victims can become suddenly and unexpectedly incapacitated through paralysis, blindness, or inability to breathe.

    Results of drug-testing in the Mississippi workplace could take on a new complexity. There is a possible second hand marijuana smoke impact of innocent employees. Second hand smoke in living situations could negatively affect the school work of students in our schools. (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-school-work-social-life)

    Mississippi government endorsement on the probability of second-hand smoke from drug use in dwellings would be unethical. Minors, pregnant women, and allergic or health conscious adults in apartment-style government-housing or rental property should not be exposed to marijuana smoke seeping through air conditioning vent work and cracks.

    According to Mississippi Public Broadcasting television programming, Mississippi currently ranks number three in hospital emergency room admissions for use of the psychotic, synthetic marijuana (spice) in Mississippi. Confusion between the two drugs or even deceptive sales will result in increased tragedy to families and law enforcement.

    The psychology of legalization may actually encourage use of marijuana. Many adolescents, as well as adults,will assume that if it marijuana is legal it is healthy for people. Use by adolescents has been linked to increase in schizophrenia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol)

    Oral use under medical prescription is all that is necessary.

  2. We have roadblocks all the way. Many signatures are revoked so be careful to copy your voter registration card exactly. Also, many felons can vote and we have voter registration forms. The voter registration must have time to be processed or the circuit clerk will throw out your name on the petition, often not giving the information back to us so we can correct it. Add your phone number. You can get the forms with complete instructions on the links in this article. People with a crime history, or incarceration history can usually vote. The exclusions are listed on our voter registration form. We are very lacking in correctly filed signatures. We need help from public figures. Anybody know who to get in touch with national news or celebrities? We need lots of help. Thanks

  3. I am registered to vote in Mississippi and live in desoto county and would like to sign the petition. Where can i go to sign? I do think it will be an up hill struggle to get this padded in a state that has dry counties in the year 2015 . I lived in a dry county and they had a virtue legalize alcohol and they voted no and decided it’s not always about the money they just didn’t want it in there community even though it’s in there community bc it’s smuggled in from Lee and Union counties. Doesn’t make any sense to me why they would rather Tupelo and new albany make all the tax revenue off of something that adults will do whether it’s legal or not. This is just an example of how stubborn people inn this state can be. Majority of people in this state hold on to old ideas and propaganda and refuse to believe new statistics and new science and new facts. We could put this tax money towards education and not be ranked as one of the last states in the country. We have all these closet smokers who go to church and when they get home light one up but would/will never admit that they smoke bc they don’t want to be judged as drug abuser in there community. Sad but true. (Rant over) lol n

  4. thank you for sharing your information. Stephen Schmidt, all locations are listed On the link provided http://www.yesonproposition48.org please go to Events, when you reach the page, then go down to the calendar and there are tons of locations listed. This website is THE website for our cause.

    And Lynda. Dear, Denver is a main city, just as New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, mobile, Atlanta are and all cities have bums or homeless. Do not judge before knowing facts. Your s close minded person that we speak of in avoiding conflict. Please be aware that the extracted THC oil immediately stops seizures and epilepsy, and those with cancer can avoid SEVERALLY types of medications during their journey of chemo and getting past their cancer. This is not where we said “yay, we can all get high,” because I have friends with these diseases and issues who need the medication. As well as Mississippi schools need that 7% sales tax for 4 years. Do you live in Mississippi? If you do I believe you live under a rock because we are the bottom state. We are so behind in society, economy, and demands. Our schools are suffering and our college graduates run like high noon to get out of here due to such low income and scarce jobs. I recommend spending time with veterans at a homeless area. Ask them their opinion and stories. You need to step outside your comfort zone because your negativity and ignorance on the subject hurt many. Your being selfish and not thinking of others in this world.

  5. Please post other locations to show up to sign.we do not know where to go! its hard to show up for support when we don’t know where to go,please post all locations.
    Thank you Stephen.

  6. H0w can people be so blind !!! The people who are trying to legalize marijuana only tell one side, you should visit Denver and see people lying on the streets who beleived this was a wonderful thing . If this is for medical purposes, then go through the medical profession. Mississippians, dont be deceived, this isnt to help us in this state, it is for greedy drug dealers who dont care about the welfare of the average mississippian ! Reject this inititive 48, be wise !!!

    • YOu are a moron; I went to CO and they are doing an outstanding job with marijuana legalization. Everyone is working and you do not see people all over smoking weed. More homeless people showed up because they new tourism would skyrocket and they could beg for money.

    • The use of Marijuana is healthy unlike drinking and smoking cigarettes. On top of that we are all free to make our own decisions what right do you have to say what people should or shouldn’t be doing? Not toention the tax money that will be saved with fewer people going to jail over something that’s actually not a big deal at all?

    • Yes we will be able to grow 9 plants for personal use. More than 10 plants to 500 plants requires a $25 fee that would be paid to your county circuit clerk.

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