A Mississippi bill would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.
Introduced by State Sen. Deborah Dawkins, Senate Bill 2318 (SB2318) would allow medical marijuana to make its way into the hands of the sick, something that unconstitutional federal law says is illegal.
Qualifying conditions under SB2318 include cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, as well as other conditions. Also, the State Board of Health will be able consider petitions to add more conditions to the list. Patients would be allowed to possess no more than three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants and thirty grams of usable marijuana per each mature plant.
The bill also protects the livelihood of physicians willing to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients, stating “a person and a person’s primary caregivers may assert the medical use of marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana, and that defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows” that they are in compliance with state law.
The bill has now been referred to the Public Health and Welfare Committee.
The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.
“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.
As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition.
SB3218 even points this out; more than ninety nine out of every one hundred marijuana arrests are made under state law, rather than under federal law, according to FBI statistics.
“Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana,” the bill reads.
The feds simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Mississippi, this cannot come too soon.
“The last time half the states took action to nullify the federal government was in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” said Maharrey. “This is historic, and it can continue with the passage of SB2318 in Mississippi during this year’s legislative session.”
Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.
Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, SB2318 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of Mississippi. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.
In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills legalizing medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.