U.S. Senators propose medical marijuana reform

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2015


GETTING SIGNATURES: Team Legalize holds a petition signing at Shuckers Oyster Bar Annual Crawfish Boil at Ridgeland. Jacobs said the medical marijuana reform bill is a step in the right direction. Submitted photo.

Tuesday, a group of U.S. Senators introduced a medical marijuana reform bill, which local marijuana advocates say is a step towards the federal legalization of medical marijuana.

According to The Washington Post, the bill aims to downgrade marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2, lessen restrictions on the transportation of marijuana across states, allow doctors associated with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to recommend marijuana as a form of medicine in legalized states and broaden access for marijuana research.

The bill would end the prohibition of medical marijuana, local marijuana advocate Kelly Jacobs said.

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Jacobs runs a group in Mississippi called Team Legalize. The group is currently collecting signatures statewide to put Proposition 48, which calls for the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in Mississippi, on the 2016 presidential ballot.

“This bill proposed in the Senate is opening doors which should’ve happened years ago,” Jacobs said. “We support this bill, and I think cannabis should be regulated like alcohol, so this move shows that the government is realizing that regulation works.”

Currently, the use, creation, sale and transportation of marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 23 states including the District of Columbia and Guam, allow at least the use of medical marijuana, according to Whitehouse.gov.

“This is a perfect opportunity for people of Mississippi to sign our ballot, but they’re scared and it’s based upon a history of predation on a plant that has no victims,” she said.

In Pearl River County, the local group from Team Legalize will hold a signing event for Proposition 48, Infused store owner Angel Cosme said. The store is located at 209 W. Canal St.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on whether or not to accept the bill, The Washington Post reported.