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Missouri lawmakers introduce medicinal marijuana bill

Representatives feel the bill will not pass committee.

Feb. 2, 2010

Missouri could become the next state to allow the use of medical marijuana.

A new bill sponsored by Rep. Kate Meiners, D-Kansas City, proposed to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes. The bill states medical marijuana should be prescribed for a debilitating medical condition such as cancer, HIV, hepatitis C or Alzheimer's disease.

If passed, the legislation would outline a system for registration of patients using marijuana for medical purposes and would require the state Department of Health and Senior Services to keep a confidential list of all patients with access to the drug.

Rep. Robert Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, the lone Republican co-sponsoring the bill, supported the use of medical marijuana because it costs less than other forms of treatment and can be more effective.

"It's up to us to ensure that Missouri citizens don't get unfairly prosecuted for providing something that's greatly needed by our sickest patients," he said.

Schaaf, who was a medical professional for 25 years, said the primary use of medicinal marijuana is to relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy during cancer treatment.

"I can tell you that this would benefit a lot of people, but we really need to have very strict controls to ensure that it doesn't open the door to huge illegal use of the drug," Schaaf said.

Rep. Margo McNeil, D-St. Louis, decided to co-sponsor the bill because of a constituent who wanted her cancerous mother to have legal access to the plant that helped another relative in Colorado, a state that passed laws for the legal use of medical marijuana.

Although Missouri's bill has 16 co-sponsors, Schaaf said it wouldn't likely make it to committee, let alone pass into law. He said he is not in favor of the bill's language and many people don't understand the issue.

"I co-sponsored the bill in an effort to raise awareness and help educate the public," Schaaf said.

McNeil also said the bill will not pass this year. She said for it to succeed in the future, the support of medical groups, as well as a grassroots movement, would be needed.

"I think we need to have some discussion, and so having the bill out there and allowing people to at least be introduced to the idea is a good idea," she said.

MU National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a campus organization that advocates marijuana policy reform, also supports the measure.

"Passage of this bill would finally allow doctors the choice to recommend this safe drug to their patients," President Kellie Smith said. "We believe that doctors should prescribe medicine, not politicians."

That is an important issue people should be educated about and aware of, she said.

"The important thing is that we are making progress, we are keeping the argument alive, and letting people know that marijuana has medicinal value," Smith said.

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Article comments

Feb. 3, 2010 at 8:16 a.m.

SOS: Read the bill! It has nothing to do with sick people getting medicine and everything to do with normalizing marijuana use. The bill even allows for designating pot smoking areas to be set up a work, school, and youth centers!!

Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

JDW: SOS-go educate yourself a little better on the issue before leaving comments.

Feb. 3, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.

unknown: Just think of the money it would bring to the state by making it legal.

Feb. 4, 2010 at 12:27 a.m.

jas: Why does the government have to be the ones who say how we choose to medicate ourselves?And yes,not all of us use it for the buzz.

Feb. 4, 2010 at 3:31 p.m.

BJ: SOS-why don't you go and have yourself a few cocktails... its so much better for you right?

Feb. 4, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.

jas: It might help if the majority of our elected reps actually did what the voters want and not what thier financial backers want them to do.We the people should be allowed to make the decisions not them,but because we the people don't provide the money they get to decide for us.Elect the people who represent us all,not just a select few.

Feb. 5, 2010 at 9:23 a.m.

DanK: Well, I really hope this happens:) I would love to have medical marijuana in missouri its soooooo dank lol

Feb. 8, 2010 at 11:23 p.m.

troy o: i have chronic back pain that is hereditary in my family.it is a form of arthiritis.im on 30mg of methadone a day.ive tried pot to relieve the pain instead of meds and it worked 100% of the time.please fight to get it legal

Feb. 9, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.

ron: When was the last time someone overdosed on pot.. oh yeah NEVER!!!

Feb. 10, 2010 at 2:44 p.m.

linda: The only meds that work for me is marijuana. I cant take pain meds as they make me so sick I vomit. I have used mary jane since the sixties for my back pain. I also have grown pot for my pain but got caught growing it so now im facing a Jail term. Dont grow it for your pain its not legal yet in missouri.Now that Im without my pain med I am in constant pain of about 12 on the scale. Pain level of 10 hits me within an hour after getting up in the mornings. I dont want to seek a dealer to buy pot as I feel that it is illegal to buy pot from a dealer who gets it from mexico or south america.Chronic sufferers should be able to grow their own or buy small amounts at a time from legal dispenseries. We should be allowed to grow 3 mature plants and 3 immature plants and have at least 3 oz dried on hand for med use. Sure beats getting Mary Jane the illegal way. Lets shut down illegal pot from other countries and make it legal for us to grow our own. This would free the cops to concentrate on murderers, Rapist, theifs ( blue and white collars)and meth. Meth being the number one killer except for alcholics. I say make liquor illegal as it has ruined the lives of my children and many more familys children (over 21). The courts are full of pot smokers that harm no one. The jails are full with pot smokers that harm no one. Lets empty the jails of pot smokers and fill them up with Meth dealers as this drug is deadly and will kill anyone hooked on it. Mary Jane is the only safe way of treating pain with no side effects. I have smoked for 35 years and have no side effects and it certainly does not entice a person to do harder drugs such as coke,meth, crack or any other hard drugs including pain killers from doctors. America wake up. There are so many uses for Hemp such as rope,cloth,shampoo,skin cream, toiletries,clothing,etc.. I do believe that hemp production will put a large dent in the unemployed and make america a self containing industrial country.In all the years of smoking pot I have never known of anyone who died from its use or even got sick using it and I have been around a lot of smokers in my lifetime. Pot smokers come home from work, play with the kids, has supper, gives kids baths,helps kids with their homework, tucks the kids in bed and when the kids are asleep a joint is smoked while watching tv so as to relax from the day at work. It takes the place of a toddy drink. Smoking pot makes you feel good from your body aches and pains. The effects of mary Jane only last a couple of hours if that and does not intefere with your job the next day or your mental state of being during the day. Lets make it legal as soon as possible and give the cops more important things to think of such as bad criminals and bad hard drugs.

Feb. 10, 2010 at 10:46 p.m.

jas: Great post Linda,and I agree with you 100%.I myself am a person who suffers from gran mal epilepsy and am in the same boat as you with the antiquated laws of Missouri.I have been going to a treatment center per advice from my lawyer and the majority of the in-house patients there are either alcoholics or meth-heads,since I am out-patient and only go once a week I sort of feel out of place.I went to the capitol today and talked with Rep.Kate Meiners and she said we all need to stay on top of HB1670 and let our state reps know how we all feel,so everybody speak up and be heard.

Feb. 14, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

Kim Smith: I don't understand how the government can create a law against a plant that was present before any human was! It's just another conspiracy ran by the government to make money, are they that blind to see that if it were legal, the potential for getting out debt is sky high!! HELLO???? I myself know plenty of blue collared workers, Dr.s, lawyers, bankers, and the list goes on who use MJ. Who cares, maybe scientists should do some research on what the positives are to it, because I don't see any negatives. There is no proof showing anywhere that MJ has created some kind of cancer or sickness when using, you can't even overdose on it!!! All natural, made from mother nature!

July 20, 2010 at 7:16 a.m.

Karin: I have Multiple Sclerosis. My disease has damaged my tummy and I never am hungry. Never mind the pain I have every moment of every single day. My doc.s suggest I vote for this and I suggest everyone else vote in favor for this to make my and others like me, lives better to manage!

Aug. 11, 2010 at 7:28 p.m.

ali: I have osteosarcoma in the lungs, (a.k.a. lung cancer), and i agree that this should become legal, even after i finished chemo, i go days where i am hungry but just cant eat anything, due to the facts that im just nausea by looking at food. Even while on chemo. I go a few days, of feeling nausea, and throwing up, my doc didnt tell me anything about medical marijuana i heard it from one of my friends who had breast cancer, so i decided to stand up for a right. a right to smoke something that will help me eat, something that will help with pain for some people. if this gets passed its a hell-of a lot cheaper than drugs on the market, for people who get sick off pills and stuff, it'll be a better solution. Just keep it contained enough to where it doesnt get outta control. falls into the hands of those who dont need it. Its just some people cant deal with MJ as others do. Some people as ive heard or seen do stupid things while on Marijuana. Thats why the government in my beliefs is taking precautions, some people dont know when to quit. I had a friend who went through rehab because of it. some people just cant handle it.

Oct. 18, 2010 at 5:06 p.m.

Jean: I have used pot for years because of degenerative disc disease and now have RA which they treat with methotrexate (chemotherapy drug) which causes some nasty side effects. Marijuana is the only thing I have found that helps me relax and sleep without all the drowsy side effects of the medications my doctor has me on. Personally, I think it should be legalized for everyone. Let the goverment tax it and it would take care of our country's deficit. It would free up police officers to pursue those people cooking up stuff that kill our children and catch people who are abusing our children. Is the an ASA chapter in southern Missouri? I would love to be an active part of the movement legalize this wonderful god given medicine.

Nov. 9, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.

Pat: When do we get to vote on this issue?

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