In most cases, laws protect our general safety and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses of other people, organization, and the government itself. When, however, laws become outdated or irrelevant, or there’s a new space where laws are needed, that’s when it comes time for law changes.
No one citizen can be above or below the laws enacted by the governments. In order for the laws to work and be fair, there are five rules of law the federal government, state government, and citizens are supposed to understand and abide by:
- Rule of Law 1. Every citizen is governed by the same laws, applied through a fair and equal judicial process to resolve disputes peacefully.
- Rule of Law 2. Following the laws allows us to live in a civil society where each of us is guaranteed liberty and equality of opportunity.
- Rule of Law 3. Everyone is held accountable to the same laws.
- Rule of Law 4. The words “Equal Justice Under Law,” which are engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building, embody the ideal of rule of law.
- Rule of Law 5. It is the job of the courts to interpret the laws. Judges and juries decide if we have broken the law.
With a better understanding of laws and why they have to change over time, let’s take a look at what changes you can expect in 2021 in Mississippi.
2021 Mississippi Law Changes
While we’re likely to see more law change announcements as we get closer to 2021, there are some potential changes that have already been announced. In particular, we’ll be discussing the medical marijuana amendments included on the November 3, 2020 ballot, changes to the state flag, and the end of prohibition.
Potential Medical Marijuana Amendments
While there are no official medical marijuana amendments coming to Mississippi in 2021 as of October 2020, there are two proposed amendments for voters to decide on come November 3.
Initiative 65 would allow medical marijuana treatment for more than 20 specified qualifying conditions, as well as allow the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time and tax marijuana sales at the current state sales tax rate of seven percent.
The other potential amendment, Alternative 65, would restrict marijuana smoking to terminally ill patients, require pharmaceutical-grade marijuana products and treatment oversight by licensed physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, and leave tax rates, possession limits, and other details to be set by the legislature.
Updating Mississippi’s State Flag
In response to the demand for systemic changes in policing, the Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. The measure was approved in both the House and Senate following a 91-23 and 37-14 vote, respectively.
A commission has been formed to redesign the flag. Voters will have the option of approving or rejecting a new design in the November election. If it passes, the new design will be implemented state-wide. In the event it does not, the commission will try again for a new flag that would be presented to the Legislature during the 2021 session.
An End to Prohibition
Effective January 1, 2021, possession of alcohol will be allowable in every county in Mississippi. This means that Mississippi is officially ending prohibition nearly 90 years after alcohol was legalized in the United States.
Under the current law, Mississippi is considered a completely dry state, but local governments can hold elections to decide if they want to allow liquor in their county or city or not. While the new bill does not legalize the sale of alcohol in every county, it does ensure that the distribution of alcohol is now state controlled by the Mississippi Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Learn More About State Laws With Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC
Our lawyers understand how complicated it can be to stay up-to-date with the latest in state law changes and additions. In order to stay on top of things, we’re here to answer your questions and explain your legal rights and options.
The laws discussed above are only a few that we’ll see come 2021, as more changes are likely to be announced as the new year comes closer and as 2021 progresses. It’s possible new laws in the near future could have an impact on current or future personal injury claims. In the event you’re filing a claim or are considering your legal options, we’re here to guide you through the process. Contact us today for more information.