Miss. lawmakers pass marijuana oil, consider controversial religious practices bill

Posted on Mar 28 2014 - 6:57am by Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s House of Representatives has passed a bill to make a marijuana oil legal in Mississippi under tightly controlled circumstances.

The House approved a conference report working out differences with the Senate on House Bill 1231 Thursday. The Senate still must approve the agreement before it goes to Gov. Phil Bryant for his consideration.

The oil, which supporters say doesn’t produce a high, is believed to help children with seizures. It would be tested or produced at The University of Mississippi and only available at The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Sen. Josh Harkins, a Flowood Republican who has been pushing the bill, says that if it becomes law, Ole Miss will have to seek federal approvals to move ahead, which could delay when the oil becomes available.


Miss. religious-practices bill goes to negotiation 

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers could try to write a final version of a religious-practices bill that has sparked concerns about anti-gay discrimination.

The Senate on Thursday voted to send Senate Bill 2681 into talks with the House.

Negotiators face a Monday deadline to file a final version of the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If they don’t meet that deadline, the bill will die.

The original version of the bill said government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practice without a compelling reason. The House diluted the religious-practices portion but kept a provision that would add “In God We Trust” to the state seal.

The state’s Southern Baptist lobbying group supports the original version of the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union says such a law could lead to anti-gay discrimination.