JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — On Friday, New Approach Missouri turned in 372,483 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, which would place the medical marijuana issue on the November ballot. The proposed constitutional amendment would allow Missouri to become the 30th state that allows state-licensed physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating illnesses.
Even though it only takes approximately 160,000 total signatures to qualify for the ballot, the campaign collected a near-record amount of signatures for a Missouri ballot campaign thanks in large part to hundreds of volunteers. This also means that even if other medical marijuana initiatives make the ballot, the New Approach Missouri question will be the first one voters will see on their November ballot.
“The outpouring of support and compassion Missourians have shown by backing our medical marijuana effort has been extraordinary,” said Jack Cardetti, New Approach Missouri spokesman. “We have the most dedicated group of volunteers that spent countless hours collecting signatures in the hopes that their loved ones can be helped by this medical treatment option. We especially want to thank Missouri veterans for their tremendous support of New Approach Missouri. We encourage Missourians to join our campaign and help put patients and their doctors back in charge of their own health care.”
The proposal would provide potential treatment and relief to Missouri patients who suffer from cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, spinal-cord injuries and other serious or debilitating medical conditions. Only those patients whose physicians certify in writing that they have a legitimate and serious medical need would be allowed to purchase medical marijuana under this proposal. The state would license and regulate those who are allowed to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana.
As part of the proposal, the small tax paid on medical marijuana and the fees associated with obtaining cultivation or dispensary licenses would fund veterans’ health care services in Missouri. The measure would maintain the prohibition of marijuana use in public and of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana.