Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera
Re-Leaf medical marijuana tinctures sit in a tray at the Sweet Mary Jane Co. in Boulder.
By Blake Nelson, The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri voters may have the option to legalize medical marijuana this November. Lawmakers are rushing to get there first.
The Missouri House voted Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana and Republican Rep. Jim Neely, the bill’s sponsor and a physician, argued that it was important that the Legislature set the rules for the industry.
“If we don’t take action,” Neely said, “voters of this state may very well take the decision out of the hands of the politicians and put it in the hands of the voters.”
Lawmakers in both chambers have been making that point all year.
Several groups throughout the state are collecting signatures for ballot initiatives that would legalize, regulate and tax medical marijuana in a variety of ways. A group called Missourians for Patient Care will need more than 100,000 signatures in its effort to change state law; another group called Find the Cure needs more than 160,000 signatures for a vote on amending the state constitution.
All groups have until Sunday to submit the signatures needed to get their question on the midterm ballot.
The House bill, approved in a 112-44 vote, would allow anyone over 18