Initial approval given to legislation that would approve medical marijuana for terminal illnesses

Medical Marijuana

The Missouri House has voted to give initial approval to legislation that would allow people suffering from terminal illnesses and debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana.

Republican State Representative Jim Neely, a physician at Cameron Regional Medical Center is the bill sponsor. Under Neely’s bill, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services would be authorized to issue medical cannabis registration cards to residents 18 and older who can provide a signed statement from a doctor that they meet the bill’s criteria.

The House Monday night also approved an amendment to the bill adding epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and other diseases.

Under the bill, terminal illness is defined as a disease that “without life-saving procedures will result in death in the near future or a state of permanent unconsciousness from which recovery is unlikely.” Supporters say medical marijuana saves lives and is less addictive than opioids. Bill opponents say marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

The House also approved State Representative Paul Curtman’s amendment that allows veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to use it. Curtman tells colleagues a Missouri Marine he knew suffered and was ordered by VA to take numerous pills, which he says didn’t help him

Curtman’s voice cracked on the floor, as he told the House the Marine ended up committing suicide. The bill was approved on a voice vote and needs one more House vote before heading to the Missouri Senate.