Medical marijuana

Missouri Nov. 6 midterm election ballot included three medical marijuana issues, voters passed Amendment 2 with 65.5 percent voting in favor.

Missouri voters have approved the use of medical marijuana with the passage of Amendment 2.

In all, there were three measures on the midterm ballot that proposed medical marijuana in Missouri.

Amendment 2 was sponsored by New Approach Missouri and will carry a 4 percent tax on medical marijuana. The amendment is estimated to generate $24 million.

The revenue would first support the regulation of the program, and any extra money will be used to help Missouri veterans.

Maryville resident Andrea Rawson said she supported the legalization of marijuana as long as it was purely for medical uses and certified by a doctor.

“I have heard enough stories with folks with terminal conditions that sometimes it’s just the only thing that helps them get through some of the pain they are dealing with,” Rawson said. “When you have a deadly condition like terminal cancer, honestly, I don’t see any reason they should not have some comfort.”

According to New Approach Missouri, the law will go into effect Dec. 8, 2018, and the deadline for patient registration will be June 6, 2019. The deadline to apply for a grower and/or dispensary license is Jan. 2, 2020 and dispensaries should open by early 2020.

Another Maryville resident, Joanne Smith, said she supported the legalization of medical marijuana because she believed it may help fight the opioid crisis in Missouri.

“So many people have issues that I think medical marijuana can help and get them off of prescription drugs,” Smith said.

Junior Grace Elrod said she is glad Missouri legalized medical marijuana because of the benefits it provides for people.

“I know some people were upset about it becoming legalized and that they think it’s not a positive for medicine, but my opinion is I feel that people should be able to do as they please, if you don’t agree with the positives of medical marijuana, then don’t use it,” Elrod said. “No one is making you or forcing you to do it. Let people do it if it’s beneficial for them; it’s their body, not yours.”

The two other medical marijuana ballot measures, Amendment 3 and Proposition C, were rejected.

Amendment 3 was proposed by attorney Brad Bradshaw and would have put a 15 percent tax on the sale of retail medical marijuana and a tax on the wholesale of the flowers and leaves. Along with this, 50 percent of the revenue would have funded a medical research center chaired by Bradshaw.

Proposition C would have placed a 2 percent tax on medical marijuana and revenues would have been used for veteran services, drug treatment and early childhood education.

Maryville resident Lana Cobb said she only voted for Amendment 2 because the other two seemed problematic to her.

“I know one of the issues that I voted against was mainly sponsored by one individual, and I didn’t think that’s how it should be,” Cobb said. “The last one gave more power to the state. I think the government is sometimes involved a little too much.”

Missouri is the 32nd state to legalize medical marijuana.

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