• 84°

Locals petition to legalize medical marijuana

Anthony Chasley, right, sighs a petition from Jeremy Houston, left, to legalize cannabis, or marijuana, for heath and industry purposes. (Devonte Demby / The Natchez Democrat)

Anthony Chasley, right, signs a petition from Jeremy Houston, left, to legalize cannabis, or marijuana, for health and industry purposes. (Devonte Demby / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — With a petition at hand, two Natchez residents are spearheading efforts to legalize marijuana in Mississippi.

Jeremy Houston and Rascathé James are seeking registered voters in surrounding areas —Adams, Jefferson, Wilkinson and Franklin counties — to sign a petition for initiative measure No. 48 to amend the Mississippi Constitution to legalize and decriminalize cannabis for medical purposes and industrial hemp, the common name for plants in the cannabis family.

“I think legalizing marijuana in Mississippi not only is a benefit for users, but it helps the economy of Mississippi,” Houston said.

Initiative Measure No. 48 states cannabis related crimes would be punished in a manner similar to, or to a lesser degree, than alcohol related crimes. Cannabis sold for medical purposes and industrial hemp would be exempt from taxation and the Governor would be required to pardon people convicted of non-violent cannabis crimes against the state of Mississippi.

Cannabis sales would also be taxed 7 percent, generating more revenue for the city and state, Houston said.

Houston and James began collecting signatures in early January and must have 21,443 signatures within the Southwest Mississippi region, or Congressional District four.

A total number of 107,216 signatures are required from the state. However, cannabis supports only have until Dec. 29 to get the required signatures needed to qualify Initiative Measure No. 48 so that it can be voted on in 2017. If one district fails to collect the required 21,443 signatures, the entire initiate fails.

Houston and James said they are up for the challenge, pushing Natchez residents to get involved.

“Residents of Natchez and beyond must research and learn for themselves, James said. Cannabis is a part of the earth and the earth heals.”

When Houston and James approached Natchez resident Joseph Bruce, he was heading home. But after briefly talking with Houston, Bruce signed the petition without question.

“I would rather for it to be legal than illegal,” Bruce said. “I know (cannabis) is good for glaucoma and will be able to help people with other medical conditions.”

Natchez resident Anthony Chasley was washing cars on Franklin Street when he signed the petition to legalize cannabis.

“It will boost income because if it’s sold for medical reasons, it will be taxed by 7 percent,” Chasley said. “(The City of Natchez) can go out and build businesses and industries while boosting everyone’s morale at the same time.”

Houston and James said they are willing to work with more eager volunteers to get their 21,443 signatures.

For more information or to sign the petition, email Houston at jeremy.houston1134@gmail.com.

News

Hotel Vue, other properties involved in indictments, still open

News

Family friends ask for prayers for former Cathedral School athletic director

Business

Worley, former Dunleith owner, gets 144 months in federal prison

News

Plans progressing for Adams County public defenders office

News

City will not mandate Halloween rules

News

Gibson: We are drawing the line on crime

News

Adams County to ask for federal relief funds for Hurricane Delta recovery

News

Vidalia City Hall temporarily closed Tuesday after 2 test positive for COVID-19

News

Former Vue owner ‘surprised’ by current owners’ indictment

News

Men charged with bank fraud, money laundering in connection to purchase of The Briars, other properties

News

Sirens part of Severe Weather Awareness Week drill

News

Natchez WWII veteran laid to rest

News

Natchez police committee calls for businesses to provide security after Monday shooting

News

Husband, wife found dead with letter saying they were going to be with God

News

Police investigators comparing notes on Monday shooting near Cathedral school

News

Adams County extends mask mandate through Nov. 30

News

Natchez police investigating scene of reported shooting

News

Some Natchez High students and teachers quarantined

News

Balloonists make final Sunday flight to close balloon fest

News

Official balloon flights canceled Sunday morning; afternoon flights to be determined

News

Balloons take flight over Natchez on Saturday afternoon

News

Video: Balloons take off for Saturday afternoon flight

News

Balloons to fly over Natchez this afternoon, glow tonight

News

Hundreds gather on Natchez bluff Saturday for balloon festival