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Mississippi Legislature Defeats Surprise Bill to Legalize Marijuana

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi House voted Tuesday against an unexpected question of whether the state should legalize marijuana.

Democratic Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville offered the legalization question  during a debate on a bill that would revise penalties for drug crimes.

His amendment failed with 90 votes against and 29 in favor.

Longtime lawmakers said it was the first time in decades, or maybe even ever, for the Mississippi House to vote on the question of legalizing marijuana.

The attempted amendment was on House Bill 701.

Holland said he was trying to reduce the state’s prison costs.

“We’re putting $300 million a year in the prisons, and one-third of the prisoners are under the age of 25 in there because of a marijuana cigarette. That’s heinous. It should be decriminalized a little bit. I think that all these people don’t have to go to the pen anyway,” Holland said, WAPT-TV reported. [Read more at the New Orleans Times Picayune]

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