Pubdate: Wed, 31 Dec 2014
Source: Clarion-Ledger, The (Jackson, MS)
Copyright: 2014 The Clarion-Ledger
Author: Jimmie E. Gates, The Clarion-Ledger


Mississippi For Cannabis Has Received The Ballot Initiative Petition
  From The Secretary Of State's Office, Meaning The Group Can Now
Begin Collecting Signatures. It Needs More Than 106,165 Signatures.

Go, go, go sign the petition is the message a group wanting to make
weed legal in Mississippi is telling voters after everything has been
cleared for the group to begin collecting signatures to try to have an
initiative placed on the November 2016 ballot.

Mississippi for Cannabis has received the ballot initiative petition
from the Secretary of State's office, meaning the group can now begin
collecting signatures.

Kelly Jacobs, sponsor of the initiative ballot effort, said the group
has until Oct. 2, 2015, to collect signatures from 21,233 registered
voters from five different districts. That means the group has to
collect at least 106,165 signatures from registered voters to get the
measure on the November 2016 ballot.

"If we lack sufficient signatures to hand in by Oct. 2, 2015, then we
can still try to get onto the 2017 ballot by gathering sufficient
signatures by our one year deadline of December 2015," Jacobs said.

filed a petition in late September with the secretary of state's
satellite office in Hernando, said petition organizer Kelly Jacobs, a
longtime Democratic Party official from Hernando. It was the initial
step in the ballot process.

If the ballot initiative get the necessary signatures and is approved
by voters in referendum, it would make it legal for adults to possess
cannabis in unlimited quantities, to use as they wish, just like
alcohol or cigarettes. However, it would have to be kept from minors.

"We want to legalize marijuana and decriminalize it," Jacobs said.
"It's an adult discussion we should be having."

Former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Marshall Fisher, who
is now the commissioner of Department of Corrections, said he will
vote no if the initiative is placed on the ballot. He said it will
lead to drug addiction.

According to the information submitted for the ballot initiative, the
estimated gross revenue from 7 percent sales tax on marijuana would be
$17 million for the first seven months of sales.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D