Marijuana in Mississippi? Group pushes for signatures to legalize

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — The group “Team Legalize” gathered at a public library in Olive Branch to discuss gathering signatures for Ballot Initiative 48 Friday.

The initiative seeks to legalize marijuana in Mississippi, including for recreational use.

“It encompasses a broad spectrum from social justice to the economy to the medical benefits,” JB Payne, who is with the group, said.

Supporters would like to see the law look at marijuana more like it regards alcohol. That means it would like to see cannabis-related crimes treated more like alcohol-related crimes, so they would be punished less severely.

The ballot said marijuana sales would have a seven percent sales tax for Mississippi public schools.

Still, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics told WREG its director opposes marijuana legalization based on research and more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement.

The ballot initiative needs 21,433 collected and certified signatures from five congressional districts by October 2nd to go on the ballot in 2016.

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