COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Saturday is April 20, which is a day that many people associate with both recreational and medical marijuana.
Some are pushing to get medical marijuana legalized and hope to have it in next years ballot.
However, medical marijuana is a topic that often sparks controversy among Mississippians.
“I believe that it would be a good cause. It would help a lot of people,” said resident David Sherman.
“Absolutely for it,” said resident Jeanna Botts.
“No, I vote No,” said resident Barbara Doyle.
The group Medical Marijuana 2020 is one of the state’s leading organizations that is trying to get the issue on a Mississippi ballot in 2020, which would let the people decide on whether or not to legalize the plant for medicinal use.
“I think they should legalize it because I know people that have seizures and they have to take like twenty-three pills a day, ruin their liver, and if they had medical marijuana, they’d only have to take three or four. Their liver would last a lot longer,” said resident Lexi Flake.
“I did a lot of research on it in school, and I found that it doesn’t cause a lot of harm. A lot of people can actually use it for help. It helps out with glaucoma, a lot of cancers and stuff,” said Sherman.
“I don’t know enough about it to really make a decision about the medical side, but I don’t think it’s good to have it legalized,” said Doyle.
Many Columbus residents have personal experiences that they say has influenced their opinion on the topic.
“I work in childcare. I’m not from Mississippi. I dealt with children who had seizures and other kinds of anxiety disorders, and when prescribed this medication they were healed. The medication they were on prior to that, they were like zombies in my classroom before starting the medical marijuana,” said Botts.
Some locals are even in support of marijuana being legalized for recreational use.
“I feel like it’s kind of the same thing as alcohol. It should have its restrictions, and you should have an age limit of when to use and when not to use it. Other than that, I’m for it,” said resident Melinda Ely.
“I think if anybody wants to do it in the privacy of their own home, it’s up to them,” said Sherman.
Medical Marijuana 2020 has until September of this year to get over 86,000 signatures on their petition in order for the issue to be on next year’s ballot.
We spoke with an equal number of people who were against the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana; however, those people declined to be interviewed.