Jamie Grantham, communications Director for the Medical Marijuana 2020 Initiative 65 spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at its September 22 Meeting. Grantham discussed Initiative 65 and the reasons why it should be approved. She also discussed the alternative proposition put on the ballot by the legislature, Alternative 65A, and why it should not be approved. Grantham also cited the support Initiative 65 has from the medical community and the medical research that supports medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions. 


A total of 34 states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida, have approved the use of medical marijuana. Throughout the country, more than 3.5 million Americans are using medical marijuana to relieve pain and treat other symptoms of debilitating medical conditions. 

States are conducting their own studies based on their patients’ experiences with medical marijuana as a treatment: 

  • The Minnesota Department of Health published a report in the Journal of Oncology Practice showing that patients enrolled in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program showed significant improvements in symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment including reductions of anxiety, lack of appetite, depression, disturbed sleep, fatigue, nausea, pain, and vomiting. The analysis included data from 1,120 patients with cancer who enrolled in the Minnesota medical cannabis program between July 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2017.

  • The Minnesota Department of Health also conducted a patient survey after its program had been operating for one year and concluded that its program, “is providing many people with substantial benefits, minimal side effects and no serious adverse events.”

  • After a successful launch, The New Jersey Department of Health released program priorities to improve its medical marijuana program by expanding the initial list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient to access medical marijuana, increasing product supply, and reducing patient costs. “The Medicinal Marijuana Program has always prioritized patient needs above all else. Whether they are individuals with debilitating chronic pain, folks with end-stage cancer or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, patients simply cannot wait any longer for therapy that is both more affordable and easier to access,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “The need for this program is greater than ever.”

Research studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of medical marijuana

There are many studies that show that medical marijuana is effective to treat a number of debilitating medical conditions.

Grantham also cited the 79-person Steering Committee that is guiding the work for passage of Initiative 65. That committee is composed of people from all works of life including attorneys, physicians, pastors, businesses, and nonprofits. The Steering Committee for Initiative 65 can be found here, www.medicalmarijuana2020.com


We thank Grantham for her presentation to our club and her work on behalf of the patients who would benefit from the passage of Initiative 65. She is shown below during her presentation. The link to the complete Zoom meeting, including Grantham’s presentation, is https://vimeo.com/461203848.