Missouri may be the next state to offer medical marijuana to suffering patients. Two senators recently filed separate medical marijuana measures to be considered when the 2017 legislative season starts, both of which propose a comprehensive legal marijuana program for more patients, reports said.
Sens. Jason Holsman and Rob Schaaf prefiled bills advancing the state’s marijuana program earlier in December. Both proposals call for legalization of medical marijuana. However, details on Holsman’s Senate Bill 56 are still very limited. The bill aims to “grant licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of marijuana for medical use,” while Schaaf’s Senate Bill 153 also calls for cannabis manufacture and distribution, but broadens the scope of patients who could qualify for medical marijuana.
Under SB153, Schaaf proposes people suffering from serious conditions including, “cancer, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, severe migraines, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease or certain specified symptoms or complications associated with the conditions.” The law would allow registered users to possess up to a 30-day supply of marijuana supplied by a practitioner.
The senators’ proposals come right after marijuana reform activists in Missouri failed to get a medical marijuana bill on the November ballot in September. The petition was shy 2,000 signatures needed to get a medical marijuana measure on the ballot. However, groups are pushing to see a legal and less restrictive medical measure on the ballot in 2018.
“At this point we have already filed a petition with the secretary of state to put it on the November 2018 ballot,” Sheila Dundon, who works with Missouri reform groups like New Approach Missouri and “Show Me Cannabis,” told KOMU, Columbia, Wednesday.
Currently in Missouri, only people with intractable epilepsy can participate in the state’s restrictive marijuana program. With a doctor’s prescription, patients suffering from very specific ailments are able to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis extract. Only cannabinoid-based products — marijuana that doesn’t contain the psychoactive THC ingredient — are available for consumption.