State Rep. Jim Neely’s bill that would legalize medical marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses has been criticized as too restrictive and narrow.
But the measure could jump-start the push to make Missouri the 30th state to allow medical marijuana.
More than 20 lawmakers, including three Democrats, have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. It passed out of committee this week and awaits consideration in the full House.
The legislation would permit the use of hemp extract for terminally ill patients. The state’s current “Right to Try” law allows patients with terminal illnesses to try experimental drugs without approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It doesn’t include marijuana.
Attitudes toward medical marijuana have shifted nationwide. Not only have 29 states legalized it, nine states and Washington, D.C., also have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
“Marijuana’s everywhere anyway,” Neely, a Republican from Cameron, said. “We’ve got to find a better way of dealing with it.”
Neely sponsored a similar bill last year that was approved by a committee before being killed in the House.
The latest proposal doesn’t offer an extensive list of treatable diseases. Still, it’s a better alternative than three petition initiatives aimed at placing the issue before voters in November.
Two of the three would amend Missouri’s Constitution if passed. The third