There are several steps ahead before the implementation of legalized medical marijuana after Tuesday’s passage by Missouri voters of Amendment 2.
The election results still need to be certified by the Secretary of State’s office before the law will become official, which is expected to take place around December 6. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will then develop regulations to implement the law, which will need to be completed by June 2019.
Amendment 2 was the only one of three measures to go before voters Tuesday that allows for home grow of marijuana – six plants for an individual and 18 for a caregiver. A $100 fee will be charged for an identification card to cultivate marijuana.
Commercial cultivation in indoor lighted facilities will be limited to 2,800 plants with a $10,000 application fee and an annual $25,000 license renewal fee. Commercial dispensaries will be charged a $6,000 application fee, plus a $10,000 annual renewal fee.
Missouri joined Utah in passing medical marijuana usage Tuesday. Michigan became the 10th state to pass recreational marijuana.
Mother of cancer victim speaks out on medical marijuana
Amy Aldridge, a Cape Girardeau mother in southeast Missouri, said she would have moved mountains to give her daughter, Sahara, relief from cancer treatments and wishes she had medical marijuana as an option to do so.
“If my daughter were here, she would be excited to share this news to tell everybody there’s hope going forward. Maybe somebody wouldn’t have to suffer like she did,” said Aldridge.
Aldridge said her daughter Sahara had a heart for others and giving spirit. But, after a 17-month battle with cancer, she passed away at just 13-years-old.
“If you’re a parent watching your child and you can’t fix it, you’re going to do anything you can to try and help,” said Aldridge. “Because you would take that burden on yourself in a heartbeat just to get it off the back of your child.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for the first time in June, approved use of a cannabis-based medicine, one that is a chemical compound in the cannabis plant called cannabidiol, or CBD.
The Kansas City Medical Society released a statement in mid-October stating it does not believe legalization of medical marijuana is in the best interest of the public and their health. It contends the current level of research on cannabis in medicine is inadequate.
Likewise, the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Association and the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons have gone on record as opposing the medical proposals. In its statement, the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society said it “opposes such measures until the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassifies marijuana to allow for increased scientific research.
Aldridge said she did everything she could to help daughter Sahara with extreme nausea from cancer treatments. “It’s brutal to watch your child suffer from very little relief from those symptoms,” said Aldridge.
So, that’s why she supports the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri.
“Why not. Why not,” said Aldridge. “Why wouldn’t you give somebody the opportunity to not be so sick and not to feel so bad and not to suffer so much. If you could quell that nausea, that’s a quality of life issue. Cancer’s not going away unless we find a way to cure it. And until we cure it, we have to find ways to deal with it.”
In honor of Sahara, Aldridge said she will advocate for anything that helps both kids and adults with cancer. “And on behalf of all parents who have children facing these treatments right now, this gives hope to help deal with what’s an awful diagnosis to be given,” said Aldridge.
Now that Amendment 2 passed, Aldridge also said she’s looking forward to seeing what can be done with medical marijuana to help cancer patients and the research that will come along with it.
(Missourinet media partner KFVS-TV provided this report with additional reporting from Missourinet’s Jason Taylor)