Mississippi Supporters Aim To Put Marijuana On 2016 Ballot

MISSISSIPPI: Supporters of marijuana legalization in Mississippi are making two broad arguments in hopes at least one of them will win over voters. One is about social justice. The other — and the one many volunteers along the Coast are focusing on — is money.

More than 800 volunteers, and counting, have fanned out across Mississippi armed with petitions and passion. If they can get more than 107,000 signatures — or more than 21,000 from each of Mississippi’s five districts — marijuana legalization will be on the 2016 ballot. If voters decide in favor of the referendum, Mississippi could go further in legalizing marijuana than any state to date.

“A lot of people are motivated because bad things have happened to their families because of cannabis laws,” said Kelly Jacobs, a longtime state Democratic operative who is sponsoring the initiative. “Or they want better things to happen with cannabis.

“Marijuana, for an enormous amount of Mississippians, is about wanting a choice.”

Marijuana Can Alleviate MS Symptoms

With medical marijuana dispensaries set to open later this year in Massachusetts, a review of the latest research suggests that it can help alleviate multiple sclerosis symptoms such as pain, overactive bladder, and muscle stiffness.

But the review, conducted by specialists convened by the American Academy of Neurology, found that marijuana does not help relieve the uncontrollable limb spasms that result from a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. And it concluded that there is insufficient evidence to know whether the drug reduces symptoms caused by neurological diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, or epilepsy.

“We wanted to inform patients and physicians, but we didn’t make specific treatment recommendations,” said study coauthor Dr. Gary Gronseth, a professor of neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.