It has been a little more than a year since the governor of Mississippi signed the state’s medical marijuana bill into law and about three months since the first patient purchased medical cannabis from a dispensary in the state. Students in the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, at the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center and in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College have been working since August to explore the impact of this significant development within the state.
“Marijuana: Good Medicine?”, a 12-page special report published in the Daily Mississippian in December 2022, focused on opportunities and challenges surrounding the cultivation, production, sale and use of medical marijuana in Mississippi. This semester’s special edition takes an in-depth look at some of the people directly affected by this law, including patients, dispensary workers and medical professionals. We also traveled to Nevada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas to see how the legal availability of recreational marijuana affects life on a college campus.
In all, 16 students from eight degree programs at the university participated in this in-depth project examining the impact of medical cannabis in Mississippi – one of the state’s biggest news stories of the year. They traveled to more than a dozen communities across the state to report the effect the new law has on patients and physicians, businesses and law enforcement, farmers and entrepreneurs and, of course, college campuses. To inform their stories, they gathered and analyzed data, some of which has never been previously published.
Throughout the project, students worked under the direction of School of Journalism’s Dr. Deb Wenger and Dr. Iveta Imre, professors Dennis Moore and Cynthia Joyce and communications specialist MacKenzie Ross.
Special thanks for the spring special edition go to the following students: