Advocates celebrate Miss. House, Senate passing medical marijuana bill
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Medical marijuana supporters are feeling a sigh of relief now that the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate passed the medical marijuana bill Wednesday.
After the House voted 104-13 and Senate 46-4, the bill allows Mississippians up to three ounces of medical marijuana from qualified facilities.
Allie Byrd and her five-year-old daughter Avalyn May are all smiles because the medication can treat the child’s condition called XTSEP1.
Byrd explained that she and her husband do not have any genetics of the condition, which was such a surprise when Avalyn May was diagnosed in 2018.
“It’s where she has a lack of protein in her brain, and it doesn’t send the signals like it needs to. Over 85% of kids at some point develop epilepsy and hers started around 18 months.”
The condition causes her to have seizures. In fact, Avalyn May recently suffered from an eight-minute grand mal seizure just Monday night.
“She has never had one before and just imagine you as a parent literally just on top of your child crying, praying to God that she doesn’t pass away. I called the ambulance and everything. It was so terrifying and never happened before. So now that this has passed just now and the seizure happened two days ago makes us ecstatic and thrilled to go from that to this passing now we’re ecstatic,” Byrd said.
Byrd said that she’s seen the improvements from medical marijuana on children with the same condition as Avalyn May and is optimistic that she can have the same results.
“Just talking with other parents how it has affected their children and I feel like if it has helped their child that much, I can only imagine what it would do for her,” Byrd said.
Manager of the Candy Shop in Biloxi Haley Willette said its customers range from army veterans to people recovering from surgery, but what they all have in common is chronic pain.
“These are people who can’t get the exact help that they need for whatever extenuating circumstances. It may be a simpler process to go the medical marijuana route,” Willette said.
Now that the burden is lifted off advocates’ shoulders, so is the pain.
“I think there’s 29 diseases that medical marijuana can treat. Parkinson’s, any type of cancer patient, I think it will benefit thousands and thousands of people for sure,” Byrd said.
Gov. Tate Reeves has five days until the day he gets the bill to either sign, veto, or let the medical marijuana bill pass without signature.
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