Editorial summary: Mississippi | Mississippi News


Commonwealth of Greenwood. September 30, 2021.

Editorial: Trump agency chiefs of lawmakers

Andy Gipson doesn’t want anything to do with Mississippi’s likely legalization of medical marijuana.

The state’s agriculture commissioner has gone so far as to threaten to sue if the legislature tries to impose regulatory responsibility on him.

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Granted, Gipson has some legitimate issues with the proposal state lawmakers crafted ahead of a scheduled special session. The main one is that the bill is not clear on how the regulatory responsibilities – distributed among the state departments of agriculture, health and revenue – would be funded. The proposal calls for a tax on marijuana, but it does not affect any of those revenues for regulation.

“The Mississippi Legislature is notorious for passing massive government programs and expanding bureaucracy without providing any means to pay for them,” said Gipson, himself a former lawmaker.

This problem can be fixed, however, with a few revisions to the bill.

What should not be negotiable, however, is to let any head of state agency try to dictate what the agency will or will not do, as long as what that agency is asked to do. by a higher government authority is legal.

Granted, there is technically a gray area with medical marijuana. Under federal law, marijuana remains illegal, but the federal government has shown no interest in enforcing this law for years. Medical marijuana is currently grown and sold in 36 states, and half of those have also legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Federal law enforcement agencies have been clear, as administrations on both sides have contented themselves with letting states determine how to deal with marijuana.

Gipson’s objections, we suspect, are largely rooted in his other occupation, as a Baptist minister. Many conservative Christians like Gipson are uncomfortable with marijuana and see it as a vice. From that perspective, it’s understandable that Gipson doesn’t want to get personally involved in anything that promotes marijuana use.

Nonetheless, he did not run for a religious post when he put his name on the ballot in 2019 to continue in the post to which he was previously appointed. It is a secular post with secular duties. It makes sense for the Department of Agriculture to be involved in regulating the growth of even a previously illegal crop, just as it is for the Department of Health to be involved in regulating its medical distribution.

In fact, one of the improvements the legislature made to Initiative 65, the voter-approved medical marijuana plan that was rejected for a technicality, is to not place the regulatory burden solely on the drug. Ministry of Health.

By the way, the Department of Health does not want to be responsible for medical marijuana either, given that it is already out of breath in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. But someone has to have it, and it’s the job of the legislature to determine what agency or agencies it should be.

If those who run these agencies do not want to follow these market orders, whether for practical or moral reasons, they have an option readily available. They can resign and let their replacement take care of them.

Tupelo Daily Journal. September 30, 2021.

Editorial: Use of explosion proof warrants should be strictly limited

The Daily Journal ran a special investigative series into the shooting death of a Monroe County man which was the result of a law enforcement officer serving a prohibition on striking warrant in the midst of the night.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies served the warrant on Ricky Keeton at his residence at around 1 a.m. on October 18, 2015. Before MPs kicked the door to enter, Keeton had heard sounds through the wall of his trailer and had woken up his girlfriend. According to his girlfriend – who was not injured – Keeton feared they were about to be robbed.

Authorities shot Keeton when he appeared at the door with a gun, which turned out to be a pellet gun. The shooting was deemed justified, given that Keeton had a gun and allegedly stood up and possibly shot at it. In most situations, a suspect wielding a firearm at law enforcement would be grounds for the use of lethal force.

But the family thinks this situation is different, which is why they have filed a federal lawsuit against law enforcement in Monroe County. The family believe the authorities acted irresponsibly, leading Keeton to take acceptable steps to protect himself.

And this question is at the heart of using warrants without knocking.

Unlike regular search or arrest warrants, no-knock warrants allow law enforcement to forcibly enter a residence or business without even registering.

The rationale for such warrants is often to protect evidence so that it cannot be destroyed or to prevent suspects from escaping. And there are certainly legitimate situations in which such mandates are, well, justified.

However, no-go warrants are clearly being abused. For example, what was the need for a ban warrant on a trailer with limited exit points and where MPs had access to sewer lines to capture any evidence that had been disposed of that way?

These types of warrants often put the life of law enforcement in great danger. Entering a residence with such force increases the likelihood that occupants will retaliate in what they believe to be self-defense. After all, we live in an area where guns are kept nearby for our personal protection. Chances are, if someone breaks into the majority of homes in rural northeastern Mississippi in the middle of the night, an awake homeowner will greet them with the tip of a gun.

The police who are serving these warrants are justified in shooting these suspects. But what happens when it turns out that the weapon is not a pellet gun? Or – even worse – what happens when law enforcement accidentally entered the wrong residence or acted on the basis of misinformation? It has happened in Mississippi and across the country.

The state should tackle the use of no-strike warrants, specifying when these warrants can be used. And the scope should be narrow – protecting both law enforcement and citizens. As it stands, no-strike warrants are being handed out like candy, resulting in widespread overuse and abuse in Mississippi.

Vicksburg Post. October 1, 2021.

Editorial: Warren County sets a positive example with Youth Immunization Day

Warren County Board of Supervisors, Vicksburg Warren School District, Warren County Emergency Management and NAACP Vicksburg branch deserve a round of applause for excellent attendance at Immunization Day event young people last weekend.

The event allowed 173 people to get vaccinated and made the occasion a family affair. Mississippi State Department of Health officials said Warren County’s participation was much higher than similar pop-up vaccine sites in other parts of the state.

Numbers aside, participants said they saw multiple generations of the same family present. Injections, in general, can be scary for children (and some adults too), so the idea that a vaccination event could be presented in a way that eliminates some fear is a positive step in increasing the number of people. vaccinated.

Every entity involved in the planning and execution of this event contributed valuable resources. Whether it’s donating money for immunization incentives or just using the organization’s network to spread the word, the community is accountable to them for their efforts.

The coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing severe cases and hospitalizations. It saves lives and prevents our hospitals from being invaded. It can help keep our vulnerable loved ones safe.

Those who chose to be vaccinated on Saturday and all those who made the decision to be vaccinated also deserve thanks for their efforts to eradicate COVID-19.

Youth Immunization Day was not the only local chance to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. On certain days in October and November, Trustcare will administer vaccines at the Vicksburg Convention Center. It is up to us to do our part to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones.

Consider getting vaccinated today.

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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