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Advocates Submit Twice the Number of Signatures Necessary for Cannabis Amendment Ballot in Missouri




A Missouri-based medical cannabis support group recently turned in over twice the amount of signatures needed to put a constitutional amendment on the state ballot, which would allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis at their own discretion.

A New Approach submitted 370,000 signatures to put the measure legalizing medical cannabis on the November ballot.

“Quite frankly, voters are far out in front of where their representatives are on these types of issues,” said A New Approach spokesman Jack Cardetti, who stated concern that the process would stall if the government was in control. “Voters overwhelmingly support medical marijuana in Missouri and that’s one of the reasons we’re going to take this directly to the ballot.” The proposal would place a four percent tax on medical cannabis, with a portion of it to go to a fund to care for veterans’ health costs.

“My bill is based on my clinical experience working with nurses in the hospice world. Nurses think that’ll be beneficial,” said Rep. Jim Neely, who is a doctor and one of the sponsors of the bill. “In my 67 years I’ve never attended any lectures on medical marijuana. There’s got to be a point where we gain some information. That’s the essence behind the approach I’ve taken.”

This ballot initiative is not the only option for Missouri’s entry into the medical cannabis realm. The state’s House recently passed a medical cannabis bill on to the Senate that would allow patients over 18 with a terminal disease, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and several other conditions to try smokeless cannabis options for treatment. The state has had several setbacks since their initial entry into medical cannabis legislation. The state legalized CBD oil for patients with epilepsy in 2014.

Facebook recently blocked a post from Rep. Shamed Dogan where he was discussing the House bill. A representative from the social media giant later apologized, saying it did not violate their policy.