Medical marijuana could be coming to Mississippi

Medical Marijuana could be coming to Mississippi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There is a push to get medical marijuana on the state ballot in 2020.

If voters approve the measure, doctors will be able to use medical marijuana to treat patients who have debilitating medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy and Crohn's disease, for example.

There are other medications available to treat patients, but doctors say medicine isn't "one size fits all."

"Some people cannot use medical marijuana for their condition, it makes them worse, but others find it's the only thing that does work," said Dr. Philip Levin.

For Mike Monaghan, smoking medical grade marijuana helped him after chemo.

After battling head and neck cancer, he had no appetite, was losing weight and was in constant pain. "When you're taking dilaudid and lortab, and you have a pump on that's pumping pain medication into you, and a fentanyl patch all at one time and that's not helping," said Monaghan.

Under the proposed amendment, the state department of health will regulate the marijuana and limits will be placed on the amount a patient can receive over a specific time period. "For a medical viewpoint, it's clear that medical marijuana should be legalized," added Levin.

The proposal still needs some heavy backing from policy makers.

Ocean Springs mayor Shea Dobson, has been very supportive of the push. On top of all of the medical benefits it would have, he says "it would be a fiscally responsible policy to adopt."

Mississippi already has skin in the game as one of the largest producers of medical marijuana in the country. The University of Mississippi was selected in 1968 as the first legal marijuana farm.

In order to make it on to the 2020 ballot, the group sponsoring the bill must collect at least 86,185 signatures over the next year from across the state.

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