Missouri House passes bill to legalize medical marijuana

The Missouri House voted Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana for people with several health conditions, sending the bill to the Senate.

House Bill 1554 would allow terminally ill patients with proper registration to possess and use smokeless marijuana. An amendment to the bill would expand access to people with conditions including cancer, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, sponsored the bill. Neely, a physician who has worked in hospice care, had a daughter die from cancer three years ago.

Opponents of the bill expressed concern over it allowing medical marijuana treatments to bypass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s clinical trial process. They also raised concerns about it contributing to more recreational marijuana use.

Outside the chambers of the Missouri Legislature, several groups are working to collect signatures to put different medical marijuana measures on Missouri’s November ballot.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Kansas City Star

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