Group works to opt county back in to medical marijuana

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

A local group is more than one-third of the way toward its goal of 1,500 signatures to turn the Board of Supervisor’s No to a Yes on medical marijuana.

“We’ve got more than 600 signatures so far,” said Stop the Opt’s Timothy Gipson Thursday. The group’s members plan to rev up canvessing in the county in order to find every person interested in medical marijuana and get his or her signature.

In November 2020, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 65, agreeing to a state medical marijuana program. The result was somewhat surprising considering the muddled way the initiative was worded on the ballot. But even after an issue with the state Supreme Court that put everything on hold, the process kept moving along until presented to the governor.

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When, on Feb. 2, Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation legalizing medical cannabis, the new law promised that sufferers of certain disorders and diseases could treat their symptoms with “medical cannabis.” Those diseases include AIDS/HIV, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cachexia or wasting syndrome, dementia, cancer, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle-cell anemia, seizures, severe or intractable nausea, severe and persistent muscle spasms, and ulcerative colitis.

However, on March 30 Lincoln County supervisors voted against opting in to the cultivation and processing, transportation and sale of medical marijuana in Lincoln County. They all said they did agree that medical patients needing pain relief should get it, but the vote left only District 4’s Eddie Brown as the lone supporter.

A Daily Leader poll asking readers if they agreed with the supervisors’ vote to opt out  stood at 473 votes Thursday. Those unhappy with the no vote totaled 66 percent to 34 percent of those voting agreed with supervisors opting out.

To learn more about Stop the Opt, visit the group on Facebook at