A Cole County judge’s decision is expected any day on a proposed medical marijuana ballot measure. Tom Mundell with the Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations hopes the judge will overturn more than 2,200 petition signatures gathered that have been considered invalid.
“I’ve lost my only son because of this. I’ve lost their mother. I’ve lost over 60 friends. I’ve lost so much and I see people dying all around me because they do not have this option,” says Mundell.
He says veterans want another way to treat their health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I can assure you that someday soon, this plant will be considered the holy grail of natural medicine. We need the research. We need the option and here in Missouri we have the opportunity,” says Mundell.
The measure would ask Missourians if physicians should be able to recommend medical marijuana for patients fighting illnesses like cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis.
Sheila Dundon, a cancer survivor, says she began using medical marijuana after prescription drugs didn’t help her.
“I was very depressed. I was very ill. I couldn’t function,” says Dundon. “I had learned from many patients that marijuana would help with these things. So I used it and it was wonderful. It helped stabilize my mental health, it helped stabilize my nausea and it helped stabilize my appetite so I didn’t become emaciated.”
Opponents of the lawsuit say trying to bypass constitutional requirements is like trying to bypass Missouri voters. Some also say legalizing marijuana for recreational use is the true intent of the measure.
If the judge overturns enough signatures, Secretary of State Jason Kander would also have to decide by next Tuesday whether to approve the measure for the November general election ballot.