Mayor Shea Dobson is hosting a gathering to collect signatures in support of Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign.
More than 86,000 registered voters must sign petitions in favor of the initiative for it to be put on the ballot in the state’s November 2020 general election.
Dobson is a Republican who previously worked with several political groups, including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and the National Association for Gun Rights.
“I’m a big believer in letting people and their doctors make their own medical decisions based on their own circumstances,” Dobson said.
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“It’s hands-down something we should be supporting because the opioid epidemic is undeniable.”
Dobson is hosting an informal event to gather signatures from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education.
Representatives of the campaign will be on hand to answer questions.
“It’s important that we talk about this and show the scientific breakthroughs and research,” Dobson said.
“Marijuana is not a scary thing that people have been made to be afraid of.”
Founders of the medical marijuana campaign say legalizing marijuana for medical use could help patients with debilitating medical conditions. Making marijuana legal for medicinal purposes would allow doctors to write prescriptions that would be filled by licensed facilities regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health, according to the Medical Marijuana 2020 website.
People who attend the event are asked to bring bottled water that will be distributed to survivors of Hurricane Michael, Dobson said.
Thirty-one states have passed medical marijuana laws and four others will vote on it this fall, according to The Associated Press.
“The benefits are crystal clear,” Dobson said.
“It will help people with medical problems such as cancer, PTSD and anxiety, and will be good for Mississippi because it will make money for the state.”
Marijuana tax revenue is making states money, reports show. In Alaska, monthly marijuana sales made the state $1.5 million, The Associated Press reports.