MS activists rally around the state for medical cannabis laws

MS activists rally around the state for medical cannabis laws

by Geoff Pender, Mississippi Today
October 7, 2021

As lawmakers and many voters wait to see when Gov. Tate Reeves will call a special legislative session on legalizing medical marijuana, a group is planning six rallies across the state on Saturday to urge him to do so pronto.

The “We Are the 74” Facebook group, with nearly 15,000 members, has rallies planned for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (originally they were scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Jackson, Pascagoula and Tupelo calling for a “Special Session Now!” according to their page. The group was formed after voters in November passed a medical marijuana program through a ballot initiative, but then the state Supreme Court shot it down on a constitutional technicality. The 74 refers to 74% of voters that chose the Initiative 65 medical marijuana program over an alternative placed on the ballot by lawmakers.

Many in the group, according to their posts, have become angry that Reeves hasn’t called a special session yet, and their hashtags and memes include “#TimesUpTate” along with others that cannot be printed here. Medical marijuana proponents also frequently hammer Reeves on his social media posts about other issues. Reeves has only said he would likely call a session soon.

House and Senate negotiators dickered most of the summer on a plan to replace the medical marijuana program the high court shot down. Reeves had said that if lawmakers could reach an agreement, he would call them into special session to pass it.

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn informed Reeves on Sept. 24 that an agreement on a draft bill had been reached and they believe they have the votes to pass it. But Reeves has not said when he might call a session. During a press conference on Sept. 29, Reeves said he expected he would call lawmakers into session “sooner rather than later,” but would not speculate a date or whether he’ll also let legislators tackle pandemic pay for nurses or other COVID-19 measures Gunn and Hosemann are proposing. He said at the time there were still details to work out on the marijuana measure.

Many in the We Are the 74 group and other advocates of medical marijuana have also voiced displeasure with particulars of the Legislature’s draft proposal. It includes both a sales tax and excise tax on medical marijuana, limits on the amount of the drug that can be dispensed and on THC levels that some criticize.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


  • Opinion: It’s time for action on adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania
    National and local surveys of voters continue to reflect overwhelming support for legalization. Cannabis consumers are no longer asking for permission, instead we are demanding REAL reform at the ballot box. Politicians who make grand promises of cannabis reform should be on notice to start making good, or start looking for jobs in the private sector.
  • Virginia seals 64,000 marijuana distribution charges
    Officials said the records were scrubbed from the state’s criminal record database, which is used by employers like school boards, state agencies and local governments to screen employees.
  • Charlie Crist vows to push for legalizing cannabis as governor
    At a press conference in the state capital, Crist argued that the criminalization of marijuana has negatively impacted Floridians, therefore, he will push for “expungement of all existing charges and sentences for misdemeanors and third-degree felonies for marijuana possession.”
  • Nevada program to help BIPOC cannabis industry applicants
    Nevada’s cannabis rush following the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana saw the rise of another multibillion dollar industry that is predominantly owned and managed by white men. 
  • Judge blocks residency rule for Missouri medical cannabis licenses
    A federal judge last week permanently blocked Missouri from enforcing a requirement that medical marijuana licenses go to businesses owned by residents of the state.
  • SD adult-use cannabis initiative approved to gather signatures
    South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the group behind last year’s cannabis legalization push, announced yesterday that a new initiative has been approved for signature gathering.
  • Cannabis “tipping point” close, says Marijuana Policy Project head
    During a recent phone interview, Hawkins told Profiles in Legalization that he thinks half of U.S. states fully legalizing cannabis might be the “tipping point” into an end to federal cannabis prohibition.
  • Virginia medical cannabis patients see high prices and long waits
    Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws, noted the state’s decision to limit the program to five producers, who are only allowed to operate in the specific region of the state in which they are licensed.
  • MS activists rally around the state for medical cannabis laws
    House and Senate negotiators dickered most of the summer on a plan to replace the medical marijuana program the high court shot down. Reeves had said that if lawmakers could reach an agreement, he would call them into special session to pass it.
  • Michigan lawmakers blast integrity of cannabis market, caregivers oppose regulations
    by Marla R. Miller, Michigan Advance When Tanya Kaye’s granddaughter, Anastasia, began having seizures shortly after birth, doctors recommended controlling them with phenobarbital, a barbiturate that slows the activity of the brain and nervous system. Kaye, 40, a medical marijuana caregiver and certified cannabis consultant from Clio, was worried about side effects and developmental delays…