Medical Cannabis Act drew much debate on House floor

Randy Boyd

This was the tenth week of the 2021 Legislative Session was busy with Floor action in the House. Wednesday was the deadline for the House to discuss general Senate bills. Senate bills that were not taken up by the members of the House and passed died. Tuesday, March 16, was the deadline to discuss Senate appropriations and revenue bills. More than 80 Senate bills were discussed on the floor, including the following: SB 2765, or the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, was the source of much debate on the House floor. It would have created an alternative to the medical marijuana program in Initiative 65; voted on by Mississippians, but tied up in court. It would allow Medical Marijuana to be accessed by Mississippians, if Initiative 65 is deemed unconstitutional by the Mississippi Supreme Court. During discussion, several amendments were offered, and a few members raised points of order and other parliamentary inquiries. Eventually, SB 2765 was laid on the table, and the bill died on the calendar. The language in SB2765 mirrored the language in Initiative 65. Similar language was added to “Harper Grace’s Law” (HB 119) in the Senate late on Thursday. The House will have to look at this bill soon. Email me any comments you have at my private email listed below. Another debated bill in the House this week was SB 2727. The bill would have revised the way members of the board of the Department of Archives and History are chosen. SB 2727 would have given board appointments to the governor and the lieutenant governor. The bill failed by a vote of 17-105. I was not in favor of the bill in the form submitted to the House, but favored keeping it alive to possibly strengthen the board. SB 2119 would authorize the sale and purchase of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine in the state without a prescription. Since 2010, Mississippi has required a prescription to purchase medicines containing these stimulants. SB 2119 passed by a bipartisan vote of 117-3, and it has been sent to the governor for his signature. A few bills passed the House with unanimous support including a bill that would authorize a veteran to establish proof of military service for Veteran Driver’s License Designation in person at a DPS driver’s license station (SB 2294); a bill that would give the option to combine a concealed carry weapons permit with a driver’s license or other identification card (SB 2253); and a bill that would allow the Department of Education to grant teaching licenses to teachers who already possess the equivalent from another state (SB 2267). Governor Tate Reeves signs SB 2536 into law in the Rotunda of the Capitol! It's a win for our young lady athletes in Mississippi! The bill was sent to the House Floor from the Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee. It passed by a large margin. Thank you for your confidence.

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