A measure to legalize medical cannabis was crushed this week in the Missouri House, making it the second time in 2016 that lawmakers have rejected medical marijuana. Proponents of the bill had depicted it as a more restricted take than an initiated constitutional amendment being chased as an initiative petition for the ballot in November.
The House would need to allow doctors to recommend cannabis for those that are suffering from certain conditions such as epilepsy. The bill would have also made a licensing program for commercial cannabis cultivators and retailer, along with a system to follow the drug from its growth to its distribution. The proposal did not pass by a vote of 85-71. Back in April, the legislation also decided to turn down a similar bill.
If the legislation were to pass the bill, it would have still needed to go through the Senate to be approved by the end of this week, which is the deadline to pass bills. It would have been on the ballot in August. Some advocates had talked up the good things about medical cannabis while other said that lawmakers should be the ones that decide how medical marijuana is used rather than citizens.
“We are not in this to create tax revenue. We are not in this to let people get high. We are in this to help really, really sick people,” Rep. Jack Bondon, a Republican, who backed the bill, said.
However, Rep. Eric Burlison, a Springfield Republican, stated that cannabis does not have the assurance that true medicine does, such as heavy research.
“You could let the out-of-state interests come in, put this on the ballot and do it their way. Or we could do it our way — cautiously, slowly, conservatively — so that we can fix it next year if we run into any hiccups,” Rep. Mike Colona, a St. Louis Democrat, added.
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