Missouri will vote on medical marijuana this November

All three ballot measures would legalize, regulate and tax medical cannabis, with some key differences.

On November 6, Missouri voters won’t just have a choice between prohibition and legal medical cannabis — they’ll get to choose among three different legalization measures, each of which takes its own approach toward a regulated and taxed cannabis industry. All three bills received certification from the Secretary of State’s office last week. Now, they’ll have to survive one more week of a 10-day interval in which those opposed can legally challenge the bills. If they do survive, they’ll end up on the ballot and Missouri voters will have their pick.


Lawsuit seeks to snuff out two of three medical marijuana questions on Missouri ballot

The man backing one of three medical marijuana questions on the November ballot is trying to disqualify his two competitors.

Springfield attorney Brad Bradshaw filed lawsuits in Cole County last week, saying that one of the initiatives failed to collect enough signatures, while the other broke the law when it circulated its petitions.

The legal maneuvering comes as the clock ticks down on Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who is in charged of setting up the November ballot. In the lawsuit, Bradshaw asks for an expedited hearing in both cases, with the hope of having the matter settled by early October.


Senate committee approves $500,000 in funding for national database of hemp genetics

Agriculture experts argue that a strategic seed bank would help bring hemp cultivation further into mainstream farming, where crops are grown not as an experiment, but as an economic investment.

If a handful of U.S. Senators have their way, a treasure trove of cannabis seeds could soon be on its way to the federal government.


Missouri House votes to legalize medical marijuana

The Missouri state House passed a bill Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana, according to the The Associated Press.

The measure allows anyone over the age of 18 with a terminal illness to use smokeless medical marijuana. Those who suffer from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions, would also be able to use the substance.

The bill passed the GOP-controlled chamber 112-44 and now heads to the Republican-held state Senate.


This Missouri mother is fighting for her daughter's right to use medical marijuana

Every minute that it takes for a bill to expand Missouri's medical marijuana program to make its way through the state legislature is excruciating for Cassandra Peterson and her daughter Elliana. Cassandra is pushing for the proposed bill to pass so that Elliana and other patients under 18 years old are eligible to use marijuana medicinally, writes Calvin Hughes.


Missouri House endorses medical marijuana measure

The Missouri House on Monday endorsed a proposal allowing patients with long-term illnesses to access medical marijuana.

The original measure only applied to people with terminal illnesses, but the major point of debate Monday was whether to cover patients suffering from illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy. Ultimately, the additional illnesses were included.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, said the measure was intended to ease the pain of people who are about to die. “I’m trying to provide some comfort to people who are in the last days of their life,” he said. “It just seems like this is the right thing to do.”


The threat of dangerous synthetic cannabis has spread to five states

The threat of dangerous synthetic cannabis has spread to five states, prompting health departments to go full force.

The number of people with severe synthetic weed-related illness keeps rising. Hospitals are reporting more and more cases of serious bleeding, seizures, hallucinations and violent behavior—all due to synthetic cannabis.

As of this week, the threat of dangerous synthetic cannabis has spread to five states, including Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Maryland.


Missouri kills medical marijuana bill that many thought would pass

 A medical marijuana bill hit a brick wall in the legislature Wednesday when a committee killed it.

While the bill's sponsor believes there's still a chance for the legislation, some medical marijuana advocates say the outcome was inevitable. 

HB 1554, sponsored by Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, would provide access to medical marijuana for people who suffer from terminal illnesses; however, it failed to make it out of the Legislative Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

Last year Neely sponsored House Bill 437, which would have legalized access to medical marijuana for people suffering from "epilepsy or an irreversible debilitating disease or conditions." It failed to gain traction after being approved by a committee.


Alaska and Missouri advance legislation to legalize hemp farming

If the two states pass their bills, they’ll become the 35th and 36th states to legalize hemp cultivation.

Hemp has been cultivated by cultures around the world for millennia, grown for its strong fibers and used to make clothing, fuel, paper, rope, and many other of life’s necessities. But hemp cultivation in the U.S. was put to an end in the early 20th century, when the federal government prohibited the cultivation of cannabis, which includes both hemp and marijuana, even though hemp itself isn’t psychoactive.


Pressure to legalize marijuana in Missouri is high

Support nationwide for marijuana legalization is at a five-decade high, according to a Gallup poll conducted in October.

And rising numbers of petitions and bills — even one joint resolution — calling for legalization in Missouri mirror the trend.

It's no joke. With 19 petitions in play and five bills in the Missouri House under consideration, people on both sides of the issue are lining up for a scrum.

House Joint Resolution Number 86, filed Thursday, is a serious attempt to get the state in line with a national trend, according to the resolution's sponsor, state Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Ferguson.

"It's about changing the conversations," Curtis said. "The numbers we see on social media show there's a high number of people in favor of legalization."


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