Update: The Missouri legislature is adjourned and the bill will not recieve further consideration this year.
Update: A hearing was held on 4/26 for SB 56.
Two separate legislative proposals are pending to allow qualified patients to obtain and legally consume marijuana.
The preferable of the two bills, Senate Bill 56, permits the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to “grant licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of marijuana for medical use.” Importantly, it authorizes qualified patients and caregivers the opportunity to cultivate their own cannabis at home. This option ensures that patients will have an uninterrupted supply of medical cannabis if there is a delay in the establishment of state licensed dispensaries or if they do not reside near such a facility.
Separate legislation, Senate Bill 153, is also pending. However, this legislation significantly limits patients’ options to self-medicate in the manner that they believe is best. For example, it does not allow patients to cultivate their own supply of medicine, and it also places potential restrictions on how patients may consume their medicine.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Missouri patients deserve these same protections.
Statewide polling data compiled in 2016 determined that 62 percent of voters support regulating medical marijuana access. In September, Secretary of State Jason Kander called on lawmakers to move swiftly to legalize medical cannabis, stating, “The Missouri General Assembly should pass legislation to allow medical marijuana so Missouri families that could greatly benefit from it don’t have to watch their loved ones continue suffering.” If lawmakers fail to act this year, advocates are anticipated to place the measure on the 2018 ballot.
Please enter your zip code below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support Senate Bill 56. For more information please visit Missouri NORML’s page.