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Missouri bill limits medical marijuana to terminal illness

February 7, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri bill would provide access to medical marijuana for people who have terminal conditions.

A House committee heard testimony Tuesday on the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Neely, who has previously introduced bills related to legalizing medical marijuana, the Columbia Missourian reported .

The only person who testified against the bill was Woody Cozad, a lobbyist for the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Cozad said the bill would confuse prosecutors because if passed, Missouri state law would conflict with federal law.

Democratic Rep. Jon Carpenter said he can’t imagine why anyone would “want to make criminals out of any of the people we’ve heard testify today.”

State lawmakers should not yield to the federal government, said Joshua Lee, a veteran and the founder of Veterans Alliance for Compassionate Access.

“We are already used to defying the federal government,” Lee said. “This is Missouri. We’re the Show-Me State. What do a bunch of fat cats up in D.C. know about how to control our health?”

Several veterans supported the bill but want it expanded to include people who have post-traumatic stress disorder related to their military service. Marijuana provides relief for veterans with PTSD, chronic pain and sleep disorders, and is a better way of alleviating symptoms compared to opioids, said Dustin Peters, a veteran of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I drove here, 14 hours, to be here, to talk to you for three minutes,” said Peters, who moved from Mount Vernon to Pueblo, Colorado, to receive medical marijuana for his PTSD.

Neely’s previous bill last year would have legalized access to medical marijuana for those with “epilepsy or an irreversible debilitating disease or conditions.” The bill was voted out of the committee but did not go further.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com

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