According to the ones who matter on the state level, it is now legal to possess and use medical marijuana for qualified MO patients, just not buy it.
Cannabis stores in Missouri where patients with a state issued medical marijuana card will be able to buy THC and CBD products have not opened yet. State health officials have now expressed support for patients right to posses marijuana for medical use, but this does not take into account where to get it, or condone purchasing cannabis illegally.
The St. Louis County Police Department recently issued a statement to The Riverfront Times clarifying that officers will not arrest state-approved marijuana patients who have come into possession of it.
“If individuals are in possession of marijuana and possess a valid and legal prescription we will uphold their constitutional rights and they will not be arrested,” wrote department spokeswoman Tracy Panus. “We will not arrest individuals based upon the assumption the marijuana was obtained illegally.”
The 192 approved dispensaries that were recently approved by the state are still months away from opening, with growing just getting started. The state’s top marijuana official, Lyndall Fraker, the Director of Medical Marijuana for the Department of Health and Senior Services, weighed-in on the legal situation medical marijuana patients in Missouri are dealing with. He wrote in a January 28 letter that he had been moved to explain the DHSS’ understanding of the issue “at the request of several law enforcement entities and legislators.”
The Director of Medical Marijuanas letter stated:
For both facilities and patients, once in possession of marijuana, all of the rights and protections outlined in Article XIV apply without caveat…
It is the opinion of DHSS that, pursuant to Article XIV, individuals who hold a valid medical marijuana identification card are currently authorized to possess and use medical marijuana, and the lack of a mechanism by which those individuals may legally come into possession of medical marijuana does not change their right to possess it.
This was followed up by Mr. Franker writing, “We realize this letter may not provide as much guidance as many have hoped to receive regarding how to proceed in this new legal environment. Navigating the many complex circumstances that will arise regarding possession” should ask a lawyer about their “specific circumstance.” Although marijuana is legal under Amendment 2, it remains illegal on the federal level.
Missouri patients that have qualified for a med marijuana card are legal to have cannabis. There’s just no legal way to buy it. Arrests and charges can still happen and Missouri marijuana laws are still on the books, so to play it safe and wait for local dispensary doors to open. Also, there’s still the unanswered question to home grow…