Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Wants No Part In Medical Marijuana Program

Andy Gipson made the statement in a letter to the state Attorney General

As lawmakers haggle over a medical marijuana program to replace one passed by voters but shot down by the Mississippi Supreme Court, state Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson (R) says because marijuana is still federally illegal, he doesn’t want to help oversee any program.

“All of us elected officials took an oath of office to ‘faithfully support the Constitution of the United States…and obey the laws thereof,’” Gipson wrote in a letter to Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) copied to lawmakers. “[P]lease explain how this office or the Department [of Agriculture] could legally license the growing and/or processing of a marijuana crop in violation of federal law.”

Lawmakers proposed legislation this year, and are considering measures now, that would have Gipson’s agency license and regulate marijuana growers and processors. Initiative 65, passed by voters in November, would have had the state Health Department oversee the entire program, although it could have brought other agencies in to help. The state Board of Health had opposed the Health Department being put in charge of the program, and opposed Initiative 65 as well.

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