Mississippi is certainly not a marijuana friendly state, but there is a glimpse of hope for progress for this traditionally conservative state. Penalties for possessing over 30 grams of marijuana are still very harsh, however, resulting in a felony conviction and two to 30 years imprisonment.
Fines can vary from $3,000 to a million bucks, depending on the amount of weed you were found possessing. The sale and cultivation of marijuana in Mississippi is generally considered a felony and carries extremely severe penalties, especially if sold to a minor or within a certain distance of a school or church. In these cases, incarceration periods and fines are doubled.
Selling over 1 kilogram makes you subject to 30 years imprisonment and a million dollar fine. If caught selling more than 10 pounds of marijuana, you could be looking at life imprisonment with a fine of one million dollars.
On a positive note, Mississippi has decriminalized the possession of marijuana for personal use. Getting caught with 30 grams of marijuana or less (first offense) only carries a $250 fine and a civil summons with no arrest, criminal conviction, or jail time. Second and third offenses (with 30 grams or less) are punishable by five days to six months incarceration and a $500 maximum fine. The is no criminal conviction for the possession of 30 grams or less for second and third offenses, either.
Unfortunately, the legalization of recreational marijuana will not be on the ballot this November. Initiative 48 would have allowed adults 21 years and older to legally use marijuana and grow up to nine marijuana plants for personal use, while taxing marijuana sales at seven percent (excluding medical cannabis and industrial hemp). Additionally, the Governor would have been required to pardon anyone currently convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes in Mississippi. This particular initiative required 107,216 valid signatures to get on the ballot, but organizers were unable to collect the minimum amount due to law enforcement interference.
Surprisingly, a Republican state representative is working to make medical cannabis available to seriously ill patients in Mississippi. Joel Bomgar introduced HB 1360, a bill that would have created a program where chronically ill patients with certain medical conditions would be able to safely and legally access and use medical cannabis with a doctor’s approval. Unfortunately, HB 1360 did not pass. However, in 2014, a very restrictive law passed in Mississippi that allowed only a very limited number of patients to benefit from medical marijuana. This is a step in the right direction for Mississippi, but it still leaves vast numbers of seriously ill patients without access to medical marijuana.
Is recreational marijuana legal in Mississippi?
No, recreational marijuana is not legal in Mississippi and is punishable by fines, incarceration, and criminal convictions. While there is no penalty or incarceration for possessing 30 grams or less as a first offense, Mississippi considers the possession of 30 grams or more a felony. Selling and trafficking marijuana are also considered a felonies and carry severe fines and long incarceration periods.
Is medical marijuana legal in Mississippi?
Only lowTHC cannabis is allowed for patients with catastrophic seizure disorders in Mississippi. The Natural Product Laboratory at the University of Mississippi is the only place legally able to grow medical marijuana in Mississippi. So far, federal paperwork has prevented UMMC from conducting clinical trials on cannabis oil extract or distribute the cannabis oil. Medical marijuana is still legal, and only qualified patients can receive some legal protection.
How much will it cost?
Cannabis oil can only be accessed through the Natural Product Laboratory at the University of Mississippi. The purchase of medical cannabis is still illegal in Mississippi.
Can I get my Medical Card if I’m not a Mississippi resident?
No, you must be a resident of Mississippi with valid identification.
How can I apply to become medical marijuana patient?
First, you must be a resident of Mississippi suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition. You are required to request your medical records and a written document from a Mississippi licensed physician confirming your medical condition. Once you have acquired all the proper documents, then you can apply for the card through the state of Mississippi.
Can patients take purchases home if they live in another state or country?
The purchase of marijuana or recreational or medical use is illegal in Mississippi.
If marijuana is legalized can I still get into trouble?
You always risk getting in trouble at the federal level, but you shouldn’t get into trouble with officials in states where marijuana is legal. As long as you follow state guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry.
How can I work for change?
You can make a difference by making sure to vote in support of marijuana legalization anytime it gets on the ballot in Mississippi. Additionally, you can write Mississippi state legislators and your local newspaper in support of marijuana policy reform. If you’re a college student, you can get involved with the Students for Sensible Drug Policy and start a chapter at your school if there isn’t already one.
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