Mississippi considers legalizing medical marijuana - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi considers legalizing medical marijuana

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Mississippi may not be known for its progressive legislation, but it doesn't mean legalizing medical marijuana is off the table, especially when the state is a big player with the legal production of marijuana. Mississippi may not be known for its progressive legislation, but it doesn't mean legalizing medical marijuana is off the table, especially when the state is a big player with the legal production of marijuana.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - One Mississippi lawmaker wants to make medical marijuana legal and some say it's an idea that makes sense, because growing marijuana is already big business for the state.

Mississippi may not be known for its progressive legislation, but it doesn't mean it's off the table, especially when the state is a big player with the legal production of marijuana.

"This is not a black or a white issue, this is a gray issue," said Senator Deborah Dawkins.

In this case, it's actually a green issue. Sen. Dawkins, a Democrat from Pass Christian, is pushing legislation that would legalize marijuana in Mississippi but only for medicinal purposes.

"I think most people want their doctors to help them make these decisions," she said.

The bill would allow marijuana use only for seriously or terminally ill patients under the supervision of a doctor.

Dawkins says those type of patients are often left in pain which was the case for her father who passed away from lung cancer.

She's introduced this bill before and each time there's more support.

If it passes, Mississippi won't have to look far to find marijuana.

Ole Miss has been legally growing marijuana for the federal government for more than a decade. The drug is shipped to patients in other states where its use is legal.

"It's something that seems very unfair that we in Mississippi provide this medicine, that's what it is, it's medicine, for people in other states and not in our very own," Dawkins said.

Sixteen states as well as Washington, D.C., already allow the drug for medical use and more than a dozen other states, including Mississippi have pending legislation.

Critics of the bill, including law enforcement agencies, worry about the drug falling into the wrong hands, but Dawkins hopes with proper safeguards in place, those who need the drug will have access.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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