State Voters to Decide
Fate of Proposals for "Medical Marijuana"
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) is raising
concerns about three propositions on Missouri's November election ballot
which would legalize so-called "medical marijuana" in our state.
The St. Louis-based organization is urging voters to carefully examine
the particulars of the two
proposed constitutional amendments and a third measure which would amend state law.
of the conversation about November's measures surrounds how access to
marijuana will help people who are suffering," says Nichole Dawsey,
Executive Director of NCADA. "However, we are very concerned about
the structure of each of these measures. These systems put
profits over patients."
NCADA believes that each of the ballot initiatives "allow the marijuana
industry to write its own rules." NCADA officials also state
their belief that licensed health care providers should be offering
medical advice, not unqualified staff at marijuana dispensaries.
Dawsey expressed further concern that the three ballot proposals are
being funded "through dark money and special interests."
"Missourians deserve high quality, compassionate care--not schemes
designed to line the pockets of special interests by taking advantage of
people suffering from chronic, debilitating medical conditions," Dawsey
of liberalization of marijuana laws have succeeded in concocting the
commonly used term "medical marijuana" despite the fact that marijuana
is not a medicine and has not been proven to have any therapeutic
benefits. Marijuana is not a medicine in that it does not treat or
prevent any disease. Marijuana is not therapeutic in that it does
not have any curative, remedial, or restorative benefit.
of the ballot measures are similar in establishing who can qualify for
access to so-called "medical marijuana." One is a proposed
constitutional amendment formulated by a group called New Approach
Missouri. The group has used the slogan "Compassionate Care" to promote
its proposition. The other similar ballot measure is a proposed
amendment to state law called the Missouri Patient Care Act.
In each of these proposals, physicians may recommend the use of
marijuana for nine specified classes of conditions, such as cancer,
epilepsy, glaucoma, intractable migraines, Parkinson's Disease,
post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDs, or a terminal illness.
another provision in each of the propositions permits the dispensing of
marijuana for essentially unrestricted use. It would authorize a
physician in his or her "professional judgment" to recommend use of
marijuana for "any other chronic, debilitating or other
medical condition." In "other" words, marijuana use could be
recommended for any medical condition whatsoever, no matter how benign
it may be.
third ballot proposal, yet another constitutional amendment, was
authored by pro-marijuana Springfield attorney Brad Bradshaw. It
would create a "Biomedical Research and Drug Development
Institute." This unaccountable nine-member board would determine
the list of diseases that would qualify a person for access to
so-called "medical marijuana."
of the ballot measures create licensing standards for businesses
marketing and selling marijuana which are euphemistically described as
"medical cannabis centers." Each of the proposals create different
taxing mechanisms on the retail sale of "medical marijuana."
Approach Missouri establishes a 4% excise tax, with the money popularly
going to a Missouri Veterans Health and Care Fund. The Brad
Bradshaw Amendment establishes a 15% excise tax, with the funds
allocated primarily to the newly created "Biomedical Research and Drug
Development Institute." The Missouri Patient Care Act imposes a 2%
retail sales tax, with the revenues disbursed largely for the benefit
of military veterans.
Missouri State Medical Association has announced its opposition to all
three ballot proposals. MSMA believes that until the federal Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) reclassifies marijuana to allow
extensive scientific research, the organization is concerned that
"Missourians will be
gambling with their health using an unregulated drug." Marijuana has
for many years been classified by DEA as a Schedule I controlled
other states approving medical marijuana healthcare has not improved,
and numerous problems have developed," MSMA shared in an official
statement. "These problems include issues in school and education,
law enforcement and the judicial system, automobile and industrial
accidents while under the influence of marijuana, and increased demands
on emergency rooms and hospitals due to toxicity and accidental
has been joined in its opposition to the "medical marijuana" ballot
proposals by the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and
Surgeons, Missouri College of Emergency Physicians, the Missouri
Psychiatric Physicians Association, and the St. Louis, Kansas City, and
Greene County Medical Societies.
Jennifer Lowry, the chief toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospital in
Kansas City, says that the risk-benefit ratio of the more than 200
cannabinoids in marijuana has not been calculated in any concrete
terms. "Over the past several decades, selective breeding of
marijuana species has resulted in higher concentrations of cannabinoids
in the plant, resulting in a more potent psychotrophic effect and
possible increased risk of adverse results."
Dr. John Hagan, the editor of the publication Missouri Medicine,
has this message for Missouri voters: "Don't Let Medicine in
Missouri Go to Pot." He criticized the coalition of businesses and
individuals that are pushing pro-pot propositions. "'Big Weed' is
profiting enormously from state to state by passing 'medical' marijuana
into law by referendum. Millions of Big Weed dollars are flowing
into Missouri to open a new market of cannabis dependent customers, much
the same as Big Tobacco abetted habituating millions to their
nicotine-laced, health destroying products," Dr. Hagan said.
"Every state--notably well documented in Colorado--that has enacted
medical cannabis has created a tsunami of medical, social, educational,
judicial, law enforcement, and business crises. Medical marijuana
cards are available to practically anyone and diversion to recreational
use and under-aged youth is the inevitable result. We don't need
these problems in Missouri," Dr. Hagan concluded.
You can read several scholarly articles on the "medical marijuana" subject on the MSMA website by using this link:
can read more about the analysis of the "medical marijuana" proposals
by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse by clicking this