Clinton City leaders voice concerns over medical marijuana ahead of election

CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) – “We have a safe community here,” said Jim Martin, Ward 2 Alderman. “Why would we do anything to jeopardize that? Our chief of police and our police force said this is going to increase a burden on us, and it’s not a good thing for us.”

There were strong opinions from Clinton city leaders.

“It bothers me that folks that are pushing this, they don’t live in Clinton,” Ward 1 Alderwoman Karen Godfrey said. “They are not Clintonians. They live in other cities. Why aren’t they pushing this in their city?”

“I’m absolutely opposed to it. I think the whole thing was a scam,” said Ward 4 Alderman Chip Wilbanks. “Maybe that’s a strong word to use, but that’s what I think. This is designed to legalize marijuana eventually.”

Mayor Phil Fisher, along with the board members, all gathered to discuss the future of the city of Clinton as it pertains to Medical Marijuana, providing an opportunity for each alderman to voice where they stand on the issue. Most of them expressed reasons for not seeing the economic benefits of bringing it to the city.

“Why are they wanting to position themselves in our industrial parks now that there are already too many people growing in the state of Mississippi? Ask yourself what’s going to happen when they start pushing for recreational marijuana, and we already have it in Clinton. That’s my question for you,” said Mayor Fisher.

Last year Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation to legalize medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and sickle cell disease.

Clinton was one of those cities that opted out of the law.

“If it’s truly medical marijuana, if that’s the real and only purpose, why is it the only drug you have to smoke to take it?” said Alderman Wilbanks. “I would have respected the industry more if they would have said from the beginning, ‘Hey look, we want to legalize this’ instead of coming in incrementally and creeping it up.”

Clinton residents will vote on the issue next Tuesday.

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