In November, Mississippi residents will vote on the legalization of medical marijuana.
The Mississippi ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana is being supported by many physicians with a campaign called Medical Marijuaa 2020. Jamie Grantham, the communications director for the campaign, believes in the numerous benefits medical marijuana provides for various diseases.
“A medical marijuana program will help thousands of people who are suffering from debilitating and serious medical conditions,” Grantham said. “It will allow doctors to have an alternative treatment option that is helping 3 million patients in 34 other states.”
The goal for the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign is to have qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions be able to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana. Grantham explained wanting to hear patient testimonials from people in Mississippi who no longer have to deal with pain and unwanted side effects.
“I want patients to have an option to something that could potentially be life-changing for so many who are suffering here in Mississippi,” Grantham said. “I want them and their doctors to have that choice.”
Currently, Mississippi has less than 20 CBD distributors, with one shop in West Hattiesburg, Your CBD Store, which sells hemp-derived products sales associate for the shop, Zachary Dale, explained that medical marijuana could be more beneficial for customers than CBD.
“Medical marijuana has many benefits that even CBD cannot provide,” Dale said. “While reducing nausea, swelling or providing a simple anti-inflammatory, the THC in medical marijuana can do more than just CBD.”
Although many CBD markets could be at a disadvantage because of the competition medical marijuana provides, Dale said he believes that the business would continue to thrive due to the acceptance the community has already shown for CBD.
However, Dale voiced concerns for those willing to make a profit from their own medication if marijuana was legalized.
“I’m concerned if people were to abuse it or if they were to falsify their medical needs,” Dale said. “You always have concerns, but at the end of the day- the positives outweigh the negatives.”
Many students with medical issues such as anxiety or insomnia hope to branch out from CBD and show full support for medical marijuana. Mckay Eaton, a junior communication studies major, feels her support for the legalization of medical marijuana is personal.
“I believe that people with diagnosed anxiety could benefit from small doses of medical marijuana,” Eaton said. “When put in large social settings, I tend to get overwhelmed and I believe that medical marijuana could help.”
Although there have been concerns against the legalization of medical marijuana, Grantham ultimately believes that the laws directed towards the ballot should still remain firm, as the vote is not for recreational marijuana.
“Medical marijuana should be treated like any other medication,” Grantham said. “It is a treatment option that is helping so many patients across the country. Mississippians deserve to have the same access and should not have to wait any longer.”