Voters in Mississippi are likely to be given a chance to cast their vote to decide whether medical marijuana should be legalized in the state after a group of activists submitted a list containing more than the minimum number of voter signatures required to put the matter on the 2020 ballot.
Though the signatures that were submitted on Wednesday this week still have to be verified by the Mississippi Secretary of State, Mississippians for Compassionate Care (MCC), the group behind the campaign to put the matter before voters, are confident that all is set after they submitted lists containing in excess of 214,000 voter signatures.
Out of that total number of signatures, clerks in different counties have already certified at least 105,686 signatures. This number alone exceeds the minimum number of voter signatures required by 20,000.
The office of the secretary of state confirmed that the medical marijuana petition had been filed and the process of verifying the signatures had started so that the department would be ready to submit that petition to the state legislature on their first day of business in 2020 if everything is as it should be regarding the signatures collected.
Hitting the target number in terms of voter signatures isn’t the only requirement that the activists had to meet. They also had to make sure that they obtained certain voter signature numbers from voters in the different congressional districts within the state if the petition was to stand a chance of making it onto the ballot.
The MCC is confident that all those requirements were met since the campaigners received overwhelming support from the people as the group collected signatures.
If the measure is approved by voters during the 2020 election, patients suffering from a variety of debilitating conditions, including cancer and chronic pain, would be eligible to use medical marijuana. The petition has a list of 22 conditions for which patients can apply to be certified and start using medical marijuana.
The patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana products within a 14-day timeframe before they can purchase more products.
Collecting signatures to put the matter on the ballot is one thing, and getting the majority of voters to support the measure is another thing altogether. However, the activists are confident that with opinion polls showing 77 percent support among Mississippians, the medical marijuana ballot measure is likely to sail through.
Before that happens, the Mississippians for Compassionate Care activists have to contend with opposition from the Board of Health in the state and from Gov. Phil Bryant (R).
Experts are in agreement that marijuana industry players like Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) and Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) will be hoping that the ballot measure delivers medical marijuana to the state so that patients can have more options as they look for remedies for their specific ailments.
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