A total of 21 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted laws that allow people to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Seven additional states have recently approved laws that allow limited access to marijuana, Mississippi included.
On April 17, Governor Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1231 allowing the limited use of cannabis oil, which is derived from marijuana as medical treatment. In a statement given, Bryant said, "The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically as is the case for other controlled prescription medications."
Unlike some states where marijuana is legalized for recreational use, in Mississippi the law only allows CBD oil to be extracted from cannabis which is orally administered, not smoked. In his statement, Bryant said, "The bill I signed into law will help children who suffer from severe seizure disorders.”
House Bill 1231 also known as Harper Grace's Law is named for Harper Grace Durval, the two-year-old suffers from a rare disease that causes her to have multiple seizures. In March the House of Representatives voted 112 - 6 to pass the final version of Harper Grace’s law. Among those who supported the bill was Representative Mark Formby.
“I supported it with a great reservation,” said Formby.
Formby says after doing his research, he just couldn't close that door on parents who have children with epilepsy.
“One of the things I hear in the legislature a lot is if it saves one life, if it helps one child and I buy into that,” said Formby. “I want to help the person that can be helped.”
Tune in for Part II of “Mississippi Marijuana” Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. Find out if Formby would vote to legalize marijuana, and see what connects him to House Bill 1231.