As the Missouri General Assembly session enters the final weeks, this is the fourth and final story updating the status of key legislative areas.
Several bills related to opioid regulation, medical marijuana legalization, as well as a bill adding synthetic opioid fentanyl to Missouri’s drug statutes advanced through the legislature leading up to mid-session.
The marijuana bills address its medicinal use, decriminalization or its classification as a controlled substance. Another bill seeks to enshrine medical marijuana within the Missouri Constitution.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle introduced legislation this session to tighten opioid prescriptions; expand substance abuse treatment programs, specifically for postpartum care;minimize opioid availability and raise greater awareness about opioid addiction.
Gov. Eric Greitens created a limited statewide prescription drug monitoring program in 2017 by an executive order after similar legislative efforts failed. Missouri remains the only state in the United States without a comprehensive drug monitoring program that allows doctors and pharmacists to track the prescription history of patients.
In March, the CDC reported that emergency room visits in the Midwest for opioid overdoses rose 70 percent in the last year.
Here’s a recap of a few noteworthy opioid bills in the General Assembly, who’s behind them and where they stand: