JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group at the forefront of bringing medical marijuana access to the state of Missouri announced Wednesday they have reached a fundraising goal to begin gathering signatures for an initiative petition.
New Approach Missouri raised nearly $400,000 last year, and they have determined that is enough money to start canvasing for at least 160,000 valid signatures from different Congressional districts around the state.
“The outpouring of support we’ve received in favor of Missouri doctors and their seriously ill patients having access to medical cannabis has been astounding,” said Lee Winters, the president of the New Approach Missouri board. “2016 is the year we begin to put patients and doctors back in charge of their treatment options.”
They will begin gathering signatures in early February, and they will continue fundraising in the hopes of reaching the $1 million mark to fuel their efforts.
The initiative petition would allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to treat cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, spinal-cord injuries, and other debilitating diseases, conditions or illnesses. The provision would also put a four percent sales tax on any marijuana sold to go towards veterans’ health care services. Licensing and other fees to sell marijuana would also go towards that fund.
“Missouri veterans deserve nothing less than the absolute best possible medical care and treatment options,” Tom Mundell, former head of the state VFW and a New Approach Missouri board member, said in a statement. “This ballot initiative will help Missouri keep that solemn promise to our bravest men and women after their service.”
UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: The original story reported that the group had reached their final fundraising goal, instead of just a fundraising point.