Mississippi Marijuana Laws
Mississippi marijuana laws have seen some big changes in recent years, with a new Mississippi medical cannabis law coming into action in 2022 after public efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal use began back in 2020. In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about Mississippi cannabis laws, including an explanation of how Mississippi marijuana was legalized for certain individuals.
Is Marijuana Legal in Mississippi?
Yes, cannabis in Mississippi is legal, as long as it’s for medical usage in people with qualifying conditions like chronic pain problems or cancer. The Mississippi medical marijuana law allows such people to get help with their medical symptoms and conditions through the consumption of cannabis products. However, cannabis for recreational purposes is still completely illegal in the state of Mississippi.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
Yes, medical usage of cannabis in Mississippi is allowed. This is all thanks to efforts from the citizens of Mississippi, who began a measure to legalize medical marijuana in the state back in 2020. Their measure, measure 65, was eventually approved towards the end of the year, but the Supreme Court of Mississippi overturned the decision the following year.
However, efforts to make medical cannabis available in Mississippi continued into 2022 and eventually saw success, with the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act passing the Senate and House. The first sale of medical cannabis in Mississippi took place in January of 2023.
To qualify for medical cannabis use in Mississippi, a patient must receive a written certification from a licensed medical marijuana doctor, stating that they have a qualifying medical condition.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal?
No, even though Mississippi marijuana laws have been updated in recent times to allow for medicinal marijuana usage, the state’s stance on recreational cannabis is still very clear and firm: recreational cannabis is completely illegal, even in small amounts, in this state.
The History of Marijuana Laws in Mississippi
For a long time, cannabis was outlawed all across the US after the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. It was therefore impossible to obtain or use cannabis in any legal form in this state for many decades, and even as other states began to suggest legalization of medical cannabis from the 1970s onward, Mississippi didn’t make many changes, aside from decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana in 1978.
It was only in 2020, when the citizen-led measure 65 was introduced, that the legal debate about marijuana legalization began once more in Mississippi. In response to measure 65, the state legislature actually proposed an alternative measure, measure 65A, which had a lot in common with measure 65, but featured some small differences. They then put the measures to a public vote, which resulted in public approval of measure 65.
The Supreme Court then overruled the public’s views in 2021, but just a year later, Senate Bill 2095, otherwise known as the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced. This act quickly passed both Senate and House and was signed into law by the state’s governor, Tate Reeves, in February of 2022. After almost a year of preparations, the first legal sale of medical marijuana took place on Mississippi soil in the city of Brookhaven.
Mississippi Marijuana Laws
Next, we’ll look at the specifics of Mississippi marijuana laws, examining how this state treats those who have been found in possession of cannabis, as well as for other cannabis-related matters like sale and cultivation.
Possession & Purchase
Despite forbidding the recreational usage of marijuana, the state of Mississippi has a relatively relaxed view of possession. Those who are caught in possession of a small amount of marijuana (30 grams or 1.1oz) for the first time will not be charged, as the state decriminalized possession of small amounts back in the late 70s.
However, if a person is caught in possession a second or third time, they can be charged with a misdemeanor, resulting in a possible short spell behind bars and a fine of up to $1,000. Fines and sentences can be much larger for those caught with or trying to sell large amounts.
How Much Can I Buy and Possess?
It’s not legal to buy or possess any amount of marijuana in Mississippi unless you have a medical marijuana card. However, thanks to the state’s decriminalization efforts, it is possible to be caught with less than 30 grams and not be charged the first time.
Where Can I Obtain Cannabis?
It’s only possible to buy cannabis from licensed dispensaries and retailers with possession of a Mississippi medical marijuana card. You can’t buy cannabis without this card.
Who Can Legally Purchase Cannabis in Mississippi?
Only those aged 18 and over in possession of a medical marijuana card can purchase marijuana in Mississippi.
Home cultivation of marijuana is illegal in the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi does allow patients from out of state to buy and use medical marijuana in the state, but they first have to register with the Mississippi Department of Health.
Mississippi marijuana laws only allow for the consumption of medical marijuana by approved patients with qualifying conditions.
Where Can I Safely Consume Cannabis?
It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places in Mississippi. Any medical marijuana usage must happen on private property.
Mississippi marijuana laws state that only certain patients can buy and use medical marijuana in this state. You’ll need to have been diagnosed with one of the conditions from the list below, and there’s an application process you have to go through with the aid of your physician in order to obtain your medical marijuana card. Here’s the full list of qualifying conditions.
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spastic quadriplegia
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Chronic pain
- Any other chronic or terminal condition that involves seizures, nausea, pain, or spasms
Possession & Purchase
It is illegal to transport marijuana in the state of Mississippi unless you have a medical marijuana card. Even with a card, you’re only allowed to buy and transport specific amounts (no more than 98 grams should be in your possession at any one time).
It is illegal to drive after consuming marijuana in the state of Mississippi and doing so can result in serious punishments.
According to current laws, individuals have to wait five years after finishing their sentence in order to petition for any kind of expungement of their marijuana-related offenses in Mississippi. This may change in the future, pending legislation.
How to Obtain a Medical Card?
Getting a medical marijuana card in Mississippi involves getting certification from your doctor and applying to the Medical Cannabis Program, which you can do online.
Overall, we can see that attitudes towards cannabis in Mississippi have certainly eased in recent years, and the state’s new laws reflect this softened stance, along with a wider understanding and acceptance of cannabis’ role in modern medical care.