Tate Reeves has expressed suspicions that medical marijuana is getting used as a backdoor means to legalize the leisure use of the drug in Mississippi.
That’s why the Republican governor has been elevating objections, together with with lawmakers from his personal get together who’re writing the laws, about how a lot marijuana needs to be allotted for a medical situation.
A latest op-ed column by Democratic Sen. Derrick Simmons of Greenville could give extra credence to Reeves’ suspicions.
Simmons, writing within the Jackson Clarion Ledger this previous weekend, argues that legalizing medical marijuana ought to embrace provisions to make it simpler to have marijuana-related convictions expunged from an individual’s file. Such reforms, he says, would permit drug offenders who’ve accomplished their sentence to extra simply discover employment and be reintegrated into society — and thus presumably cut back their probabilities of working afoul of the prison justice system once more.
One can fairly argue that the drug legal guidelines on this state are too harsh and that Mississippi ought to deal with drug-related offenses, significantly these pertaining to marijuana, as minor crimes, meriting nothing harsher than a ticket or, if it’s a recurring downside that’s impeding the person’s potential to operate, a stint in rehab.
However Simmons is factually incorrect when he writes, “A medical marijuana invoice with out expungement reform burdens 1000’s of Mississippians with a prison file for against the law that not exists.”
If Mississippi legalizes medical marijuana, it should nonetheless be unlawful on this state to own or promote marijuana apart from one comparatively slim class — having a medical situation that will profit from the drug or being a licensed supplier to somebody with such a situation.
Thus, the overwhelming majority of those that have been convicted up to now beneath Mississippi’s drug legal guidelines would have been convicted even when medical marijuana had been legalized on the time. That’s as a result of they weren’t utilizing or promoting the drug for medicinal functions. They have been doing so to get excessive, or to revenue off those that needed to get excessive.
Mississippi, as a part of its persevering with examination of prison justice reform, ought to have a look at liberalizing the principles by which first-time nonviolent offenders, drug-related or in any other case, can have their information cleaned. Lowering the impediments that may trigger an individual to once more resort to crime is a prudent factor to do.
However utilizing medical marijuana as a canopy to attempt to obtain that finish misinterprets what the general public has stated it helps.