A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri has the backing of Republican state Rep. Donna Lichtenegger of Jackson.
Lichtenegger said Thursday that she has supported similar legislation in past years.
The Missouri House initially supported a medical-marijuana bill in 2016 before reversing its stand and rejecting final passage.
This session, Lichtenegger is one of 14 co-sponsors of House Bill 1554 that would legalize the use of medical marijuana to treat terminally ill patients. Ten of the co-sponsors are Republicans.
Lichtenegger said medical marijuana is not the same as smoking a joint. “These are more oils and creams,” she said.
State Rep. Jim Neely, a Republican physician from Cameron, Missouri, drafted the legislation.
It would authorize the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years of age or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis.
In addition, parents of minor children suffering from “intractable epilepsy” or a terminal illness, could obtain medical cannabis registration cards on behalf of their children, according to an online summary of the bill.
The cards would be valid for one year, but could be renewed.
The bill would allow qualified individuals to possess up