Marijuana Moment reports on political activity by Arkansan Stephen LaFrance against a medical marijuana initiative in Mississippi. He says he supports a better law change.
LaFrance, who owns Natural State Medicinals, a cannabis cultivation company in Arkansas, has hired lobbyists to oppose the voter initiative there.
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy first reported the lobbying activity. “What LaFrance is seeking is obvious: To kill Initiative 65, which would create a medical cannabis program in Mississippi and mandate that the state Department of Health run the program,” the center’s article said.
Alex Gray, LaFrance’s attorney, told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview that his client opposes Initiative 65, which would allow patients suffering from debilitating medical issues to access cannabis after consulting with a physician and receiving a recommendation.
It’s not that he’s opposed to legalization, of course. Rather, Gray said LaFrance takes issue with the language of the initiative and believes it “appears to be irresponsible” and “does not appear to be a true medical” program.
“We are absolutely advocating for a true medical marijuana program that has pharmaceutical-grade medicine,” he said. “That’s why we’re involved in Mississippi, and we’re hopeful that that can be a reality because, at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to be best for both the patients in Mississippi and the state because with what is currently proposed, there’s no way you can regulate it.”
LaFrance, who’d like to enter the business in Mississippi, also favors licensing caps and merit-based permitting.
Advocates for the marijuana initiative fear an alternative proposal will muddy the issue. They also fear legislative involvement (a universal skepticism, it would seem).