Mississippi has a history with marijuana that dates back to the 1960s when the University of Mississippi started the Marijuana Project, which has been the sole marijuana provider for federally approved research in the United States. Since this time, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has strictly controlled the farm. The agencies have controlled the farm to provide enough marijuana to properly study and research the plant, and to provide enough marijuana to select patients under the “Compassionate Use” protocol. From the farm’s inception to 2007, there has been very little marijuana research, but hopefully now as more states push for reform, Mississippi will as well.
In 1976, Washington D.C. resident Robert Randall convinced the federal government to supply him with marijuana to treat his glaucoma. Marijuana was the only drug that would prevent him from going blind, so Randall was given access to FDA-approved government supplies of medical marijuana. Even though the program didn’t research much during this time, the state managed to decriminalize marijuana, so now first offense possession of 30 grams is punishable with a $250 fine. The state is now moving toward marijuana reform, since it legalized medical marijuana in 2014, though lawmakers still have a long way to go before Mississippi fully legalizes marijuana.