The New Albany Board of Aldermen will hold a public hearing Tuesday to hear comments about whether medical marijuana should be allowed in the city.
The hearing will be a part of the city board’s regular monthly meeting. The hearing will be at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the Magnolia Room of the Magnolia Civic Center on Bankhead Street.
A strong majority of New Albany citizens voted in favor of medical marijuana when it was brought to a popular vote a few years ago.
Then, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill earlier this year providing for legal medical marijuana in the state. The governor signed it, and it became law.
The new law authorizes local governments – municipal and county boards – to “opt in” or “opt out” on whether to allow the production and sale of medical marijuana. The Tuesday evening hearing is an opportunity for New Albany citizens to tell the aldermen what they think about medical marijuana. Only residents of New Albany and owners of businesses within the city will be permitted to speak.
A little more than three months ago, the Union County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the same matter. A large crowd attended the hearing in the Chancery Court building, and every speaker was against allowing medical marijuana. The atmosphere at that meeting was more like an emotional Holy Ghost revival than a sober meeting on an important, multi-faceted public issue.
The New Albany mayor and board are said to have rules and procedures in place to see that their Tuesday night meeting is more civil and businesslike.
Those in favor of medical marijuana should show up to speak for it at the Tuesday night meeting.
The opponents will be there to speak against it. The opponents were successful in intimidating the county board into voting four to one against medical marijuana, although a majority of the board had previously indicated they were in favor.
It remains to be seen how the Tuesday meeting will go.