The debate whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Missouri will be discussed by a House committee Monday.
State Representative Dave Hinson will present HB 800, which would set up the regulatory framework for the growing and distribution of marijuana for eligible medical patients. Hinson says the process would be heavily regulated.
“I think history along the way has shown that it’s a political issue rather than seen as a medical issue,” said Hinson. “It should really be seen as a medical issue.”
Hinson says there are 10 other states currently looking to legalize medical marijuana on top of the 23 states that already have a medicinal marijuana law in place. Hinson says there is a medical benefit for those with debilitating medical diseases.
“Whether it’s multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease, the biggest one would be cancer, to have an option with their physician to use medical cannabis to treat the symptoms of their illness,” said Hinson. “Their physician would sign off on an affidavit … that person would then turn around and apply to the state of Missouri Department of Health to be able to get a card.”
Hinson says patients would be allowed to go to a registered care center and receive up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana over a two week period. The bill would not allow patients to grow their own plants or travel with marijuana without a prescription and card.
“This bill is fairly similar to someone being prescribed a pain killer right now, so if they’re caught in their car and they don’t have a prescription for that pain killer, it’s against the law,” said Hinson.
Talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has traveled around the country lobbying for medical marijuana. Williams is expected to arrive in Missouri to testify before the committee.