Missouri lawmakers to consider legalizing medical marijuana

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told a national audience that the legislature would consider medical marijuana, but his words were met with mixed reaction here in Kansas City.

On Sunday morning’s CNN show State of the Union, Nixon said the bridge isn’t yet built for decriminalization, but lawmakers are open to medical marijuana.

“Medicinally I think folks are beginning to see there are things the medical community can help on,” Nixon said, “our legislature might consider that.”

“It is a step in the right direction, I’ll take it as a green light,” said Amber Iris Langston with Show Me Cannabis, an organization promoting marijuana legalization. “I don’t think Governor Nixon takes chances with his political support, so it’s a strong indication there’s support for medical marijuana in Missouri.”

While she’s pleased to see Nixon talking about medical marijuana, she’d also like to see support of bills that would decriminalize pot. Missouri has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the country, getting caught with a single gram could mean a year in jail.

“It’s a shame our politicians don’t have courage to stand forward on this issue and say this policy isn’t working, this policy is destructive to people in our communities,” she said.

Missouri lawmakers have introduced three bills this year: one for a medical marijuana pilot program, one legalizing recreational pot, and one that reduces penalties for possession.

Jackson County Legislator Bob Spence isn’t a fan of laws that decriminalize marijuana use.

“I think most, not all, but most who do hard drugs started with marijuana,” he said.

Spence has tried twice now to introduce a resolution encouraging lawmakers to “just say no” to any bill legalizing marijuana, even for medicinal use.

“Then every ailment known to mankind can be helped with marijuana, and it’s like legalizing it,” he said.

But his resolution ended up getting held over into committee. He says that basically means it’s killed.

“I was shocked; I was absolutely shocked, he said, “I don’t want to make it legal in this state because it makes it even more accessible. It’s in far too many places for our kids to get a hold of.”

Missouri isn’t the only state tackling this issue this year. Kansas is also considering a bill legalizing medical marijuana.

46 comments

  • Deborah

    It’s wonderful to read that Gov. Nixon is willing to allow the state to evolve with medical science.
    I trust – once he sees how many Missourians benefit from having legal and safe access to medicinal marijuana – he will then consider the fiscal health of our state by considering legalization for adults, with the added benefit of age verification for sales.

    • Cjmacintosh

      Sure, marijuana may have never killed anyone as proponents often claim – just as a bottle of whiskey has never killed anyone. What kills people is when someone smokes the marijuana, drinks that bottle, or both at the same time, putting their own and the lives of many innocent people in critical danger. Here’s some examples of people killing and maiming others when under the influence of marijuana with or without combining with alcohol:
      16 year old Teen Dies after Rolling Car off Cliff – Marijuana in System

      Woman Kills Self and 7 others While High on Marijuana
      On August 29, 2009 Diane Schuler, while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana drove the wrong way on a freeway killing herself and 7 others including her 2 year old daughter, 3 nieces and 3 men in the SUV she hit head on. She smoked pot one hour before driving.

      Man Attacks Flight Crew after Eating Marijuana Cookies
      Man “screamed, dropped his pants and attacked crew members on a cross-country flight, forcing its diversion to Pittsburgh, the FBI said”. Kinman Chan later claimed he had eaten marijuana cookies before his flight. Source
      ‘Psychotic Pothead’ Shoots Pentagon Police

      “…John Patrick Bedell liked it (marijuana) too; in fact, he was a marijuana addict. But he inflicted a lot of pain on other people, including the two guards he shot at the Pentagon.”

      Young Man Kills 9 and injures 5 while another Kills 2 Wounds 13 – Both avid marijuana users

      • Lisa

        Did you just google pot and crimes and then type the headlines without reading article? Seriously, no pothead every said lets smoke this and go rob a gas station. Most of those crimes were alcohol related, not pot related. Please do your research before commenting.

      • Brad

        Those could also be misinformation to scare people like you into thinking it’s not a good thing to regulate. Just like when they first claimed that marijuana caused white women to seek relations with blacks and latinos. False. Or that it made people want to kill. False. Or that it causes psychosis when in fact it has been scientifically proven to help cure psychosis. It has also been scientifically proven to help with anxiety.
        Anyone who smokes it regularly knows that it shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol and most responsible users are smart enough to take the safe route and have a sober driver or call a cab if it comes to that. There are dumb people out there that make dumb decisions. Typically, when alcohol is involved, those decisions become even dumber. The pot has nothing to do with bad decisions, if anything it helps you make better decisions.

  • Amanda

    I am in the medical field and done my research and there are so many things that marijuana does help with and the list is growing, I think it would be a good thing. It is easily available anyways maybe making it legal will help them regulate it better. By the way I am not a smoker.

  • Shepherd Yerusalem

    The ONLY thing dangerous about marijuana are the cops who shoot people for having it:

    Number of American deaths per year that result directly or primarily from the following selected causes nationwide, according to World Almanacs, Life Insurance Actuarial (death) Rates, and the last 20 years of U.S. Surgeon Generals’ reports.

    TOBACCO - 340,000 to 450,000

    ALCOHOL  (Not including 50% of all highway deaths and 65% of all murders) – 150,000+

    ASPIRIN  (Including deliberate overdose) – 180 to 1,000+

    CAFFEINE  (From stress, ulcers, and triggering irregular heartbeats, etc.) – 1,000 to 10,000
     
    “LEGAL” DRUG OVERDOSE  (Deliberate or accidental) from legal, prescribed or patent medicines and/or mixing with alcohol – e.g. Valium/alcohol – 14,000 to 27,000
     
    ILLICIT DRUG OVERDOSE - (Deliberate or accidental) from all illegal drugs – 3,800 to 5,200
     
    MARIJUANA - 0 

    (**Marijuana users also have the same or LOWER incidence of murders and highway deaths and accidents than the general NON-marijuana using population as a whole.** Cancer Study, UCLA; U.S. Funded ($6 million), First & Second Jamaican Studies, 1968 to 1974; Costa Rican Studies, 1980 to 1982; et al. LOWEST TOXICITY 100% of the studies done at dozens of American universities and research facilities show pot toxicity does not exist. Medical history does not record anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana (UCLA, Harvard, Temple, etc.)

    Accordingly a 1993 study done by the U.S. Department of Transportation came to the same conclusion as the above concerning marijuana and driving safety:

    “Marijuana, administered in a dose of 100 µg THC per kg of whole body weight…did not significantly change mean driving performance as measured…” – U.S Department of Transportation: Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance DOT HS 808 078

    The fact is people who use marijuana reflexes are not affected in a negative way and they become more conscious of safety, sometimes refusing to even drive.

    Marijuana is a plant with a safety record second to none.

    Anyone who would like to dispute these FACTS, point to a death that involves marijuana and nothing but marijuana, or hold your tongue.

    • Cjmacintosh

      Sure, marijuana may have never killed anyone as proponents often claim – just as a bottle of whiskey has never killed anyone. What kills people is when someone smokes the marijuana, drinks that bottle, or both at the same time, putting their own and the lives of many innocent people in critical danger. Here’s some examples of people killing and maiming others when under the influence of marijuana with or without combining with alcohol:
      16 year old Teen Dies after Rolling Car off Cliff – Marijuana in System

      Woman Kills Self and 7 others While High on Marijuana
      On August 29, 2009 Diane Schuler, while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana drove the wrong way on a freeway killing herself and 7 others including her 2 year old daughter, 3 nieces and 3 men in the SUV she hit head on. She smoked pot one hour before driving.

      Man Attacks Flight Crew after Eating Marijuana Cookies
      Man “screamed, dropped his pants and attacked crew members on a cross-country flight, forcing its diversion to Pittsburgh, the FBI said”. Kinman Chan later claimed he had eaten marijuana cookies before his flight. Source
      ‘Psychotic Pothead’ Shoots Pentagon Police

      “…John Patrick Bedell liked it (marijuana) too; in fact, he was a marijuana addict. But he inflicted a lot of pain on other people, including the two guards he shot at the Pentagon.”

      Young Man Kills 9 and injures 5 while another Kills 2 Wounds 13 – Both avid marijuana users

      “…The pain has also been evident in other cases, such as admitted pot lover 16-year-old Jeff Weise, who murdered nine people and injured five others in Red Lake, Minnesota and Charles “Andy” Williams, a regular marijuana user who smoked the drug just before killing two schoolmates and wounding 13 others in a San Diego suburban school…”

      The August 2009 La Brea raging fire in Santa Barbara County was touched off by a “cooking fire in a marijuana drug trafficking operation … believed to be run by a Mexican national drug organization.”

      Man Kills 4 Children on Freeway – Nickname is “Smokey”
      “…four children and the driver of a van died when the van hit a concrete bridge abutment after veering off the freeway. Investigators reported that the children nicknamed the driver “Smokey” because he regularly smoked marijuana. The driver was found at the crash scene with marijuana in his pocket. (COMMERCIAL)

      Woman Hits Man, Leaves Lodged in Windshield in Her Garage Two Days Until He Dies
      “…after a night of smoking marijuana, drinking and drugs, a former nurse’s aid hit a homeless man with her car. “Jurors saw pictures of the twisted, bruised and bloody body of a homeless man today as a former nurse’s aide went on trial on charges that she hit him with her car, drove home with his body lodged in the windshield and left him to die in her garage.” (NY TIMES)
      Man Kills Two in Head-On Collision

      George Lynard was convicted of driving with marijuana in his bloodstream, causing a head-on collision that killed a 73 year-old man and a 69 year-old woman. Lynard appealed this conviction because he allegedly had a “valid prescription” for marijuana. Lynard appealed this conviction because he allegedly had a “valid recommendation” for marijuana. A Nevada judge agreed with Lynard and granted him a new trial. The case has been appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. (DEA)
      Mother’s Day Bus Crash Kills 22 People

      “Frank Bedell should never have been behind the wheel of a bus on Mother’s Day… He was high on marijuana and dizzy from Benadryl. The Mother’s Day bus crash near City Park that killed 22 passengers is being blamed on driver Frank Bedell, who police say was seriously ill and under the influence of drugs when he got behind the wheel of the motor coach that morning. Safety experts say stricter federal rules governing the inspection of buses and the screening of drivers might have prevented the accident.” (NOLA).

      Teenagers Judge Calls “Hyenas” Murder Father of Three
      They are not hard to find. Every few days brings a fresh tale of feral youths meting out random acts of violence with unfathomable intensity. Apart from the shocking brutality, the speed with which a seemingly trivial argument or confrontation can assume murderous proportions, the stories have a common theme: the perpetrators of the violence, often in their very young teens, were high on ’skunk’ at the time.

  • Kansas Citizen

    We know the history of cannabis prohibition. We know the crony capitalism, fear-mongering and pathetic state-lead companies of organized racism to continue prohibition. We know some of the highest paid lobbyist who wine and dine our “Great Leaders” on the hill are from the private-for-profit prison industry.

  • malcolmkyle

    Robert Altemeyer, in his book The Authoritarians, describes the authoritarian in ways that resemble the typically unprincipled prohibitionist:

    “They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times and are often hypocrites.”

    Prohibition was flawlessly designed to increase drug use, atomize society, impoverish citizens, spread illness, increase unemployment, destroy lives, imprison productive people, subvert democracy, shred the Constitution, empower the ignorant & brutal, facilitate mass surveillance, destroy the educational system, hold people in ignorance, manipulate and censor the media, and enrich a tiny puritanical minority of mega-millionaires and corporate bosses. Sadly, it has succeeded in all these objectives.

  • Joe dirte

    Which is more dangerous and takes control over you more, alcohol or cannabis. its funny how people who do not use it or never have, have such strong convictions. Most kids start with sugar then caffeine then tobacco then alcohol and then weed. I believe someone drunk on alcohol to be way more dangerous to themselves and others. The people want cannabis legalized!

  • constance

    I think it its great. I know a lot of people who are pain everyday. Pills don’t always cut it. I know a few friends that moved to co cuz ot is legal there. It has help the pain so much. I agree that it sould be legal here. I am not a smoker. If helps poeple why not

  • ethan

    Im in pain everyday, pills havve done little to help the pain. I turned to marijuana, illegal i know. but it gives so much relief for a few hours a day. after smoking marijuana i can actually play with my children to where as when i was on hydros i was so high tgat i slept for days. wake up Missouri. we need this… join my group on facebook, supporters for the recreational use of marijuana in missouri

    • Linda

      I agree. I am only 104 pounds 5ft4 and I have no appetite to eat. I went to Colorado where it was legal and tried it and it worked. I could eat a full plate of food with no. SERIOUS side affects, I would love to join you in this mission to pass in the election.

  • Jim Simmons

    I’m glad to hear someone in our state has awoken from the Reefer Madness ideaology and stepped forward.Myself I suffer from gran mal epilepsy and marijuana definitely helps.Why wait,move forward now and help people today,not down the road.

  • Stephanie Suzanne Duplin

    Just legalize it already!! And then comes the push and pull of if your doctor will continue to manage your care if you are a cannabis user. I don’t like that choice either. I’m tested like clock work at almost every doctor visit because of controlled substances prescribed to me. I think for myself personally, if it was medicinally legalized or decriminalized altogether, medically I would still need some of big Pharma’s services. I was was gainfully employed as an RN. I had my bachelors. It was my goal to become a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner; the majority of my 16 year career I spent working in psych. I am now 100% mentally disabled, and as such, it was difficult to obtain care for physical ailments because after 100%, they quit trying to find stuff wrong with you. Its been a long and difficult road with far too many pills. My life and well-being would be heartily benefited by this much too controversial plant. You let me on the roads you drive on now! That should scare the hell out of you!

  • Frank E

    Bob Spence & those that share his view need to understand how irrational it is to assume that keeping it illegal keeps it away.

    Keeping it illegal just keeps the profit in the Cartel’s pockets, instead of turning it into tax revenue for the state.

    Passing medicinal or even recreational use laws would then allow the war on drugs to concentrate on meth, heroin, etc, where the real problems are.

  • vickie kelley

    I am not a smoker but I am suffering with ra and disc disease humanities disc and I am in severe pain all the time my feet and hands swelling if it would help I would be willing to try anything I am in pain constantly I need some relief

    • Frank E

      I’m sorry for your pain vickie. There’s fentanyl patches for the worst kind of pain, but you’ll be a drugged zombie & not up do doing anything but existing, but at least it will be w/o pain. Pot was great for my pain after a major surgery years ago. Vaporizers extract the drug THC, so you don’t have to “smoke it”, just inhale the mist it’s turned into. Good luck.

    • Paul Cardosi

      after spending 5 yrs in Oregon working with cannabis patients, i can promise you that not only will cannabis help more than any of the pharma drugs but it’ll also save you alot of money because ALL of the 1000′s of patients i’ve worked with either substantially reduced or was able to completely stop using pharma drugs for their ailments.

  • Brian J

    People saying pot is the gateway drug is like saying milk is the gateway to alcohol and cupcakes is the gateway to obesity. Wake up America. If I want to smoke pot on my own time I should be able to, but I cant. I get tested at work like Im a criminal but Im not. If I smoke tonight I would not be high when I go to work tomorrow, but get treated like it. Things really need to change fast.

  • Brandon

    There are so many benefits of medical marijuana. Maybe someday though Missouri will see that it should be legalized and or decriminalized. Anyone who grows it shouldn’t get 25 years in prison for a small closet grow, while the rapist or child molester only gets probation. I definitely see something wrong with this system. At least he is open to options now, which is always a good start.

  • Deke

    Bob Spence….he basically just spewed off every refuted line of propaganda known against marijuana. Gateway argument, accessibility argument; the arguments of an ignorant, out-of-touch politician who is unfortunately allowed to change legislature in this country.

    • Rick Steeb

      Mister Spence: No, not “every ailment known to mankind” is helped by ingesting Cannabis. If you Google “Storm Crow’s List” you will find, however, that Cannabis is the closest thing on Earth to a literal panacea.

      Its prohibition is doomed. There is no rational reason for an adult to require a “qualifying disease” to enjoy its effects.

    • Tendofreak

      it’s like they all are reading off the same teleprompter. I had always heard that politiciams wernt the brightest bulbs on the line….(must be true) not an original thought in 99% of their heads. They absorb the lobbiest proproganda and money and continue with the lies!!!

  • Neil

    I think simply legalizing it for medicinal use is actually short-changing ourselves. It is believed that Colorado is already set to far exceed the expected revenue brought in by sales of recreational cannabis. Once the official numbers are released in early March, then (potentially) that statement can be treated as a fact. Legalizing it will generate millions of dollars to go to education, health care, and even fix all these potholes all over the city. Furthermore, different business opportunities will arise such as companies who create the high quality fertilizer, the grow lights, the various irrigations systems, various mediums to sprout seedlings, people who can educate others in process of growing and cultivating their own product, and not to forget the ones who will open the various dispensaries/shops. I have yet to hear ONE legitimate claim as to why bringing in extra tax money to the state is a bad idea, and I imagine that anyone to tries to take that side will simply repeat the out-of-date, illogical, and unproven jargon that has been used as propaganda for years. If you really want to eliminate a plant that negatively affects most people who come in contact with it, then get rid of poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

  • Joe

    Exactly, in addition to the medicinal benefits the tax revenue could be used to fix a lot of things in Kansas City, the unaccredited school district being at the top of the list. Colorado and other states will be raking in billions while politicians like Spence spew outdated Reefer Madness rhetoric.

  • Jana Dawson

    I don’t care about anything except my 4 yr old grandson with neuroblastoma needs help. Alcohol is way worse than weed. Can anyone tell me any benefits from alcohol? Yea that’s what I thought! It’s legal and far more debilitating. The tax revenue is exactly what this country needs. Wake up politicians. Some day you or your loved ones may need it . Well I guess you could get by with it without consequences.

  • G-man

    People in law enforcement and those whom are advised by law enforcement tend to think their jobs are over if mj is de-criminalized. Think about it–you know; look for the blatant obvious. The main way police access our cars, homes and our person is by saying “I think I smell marijuana”, then they do their walk and talk through your entire privacy. This is the easiest way to do their job. They don’t want to lose this cheater tool. I bet a lot of smaller jurisdictions would get rid of their police dogs if cannabis was legalized.

  • Fred keeney

    I TOTALLY THINK MARY-jane SHOULD BE LEGALIZED IN MISSOURI AN ALL OTHER STATES TOO.. I am disabled due to severe back injury. Out of all the drugs that doctors have precribed me and expiremented on me, cannibus has by far helped me with pain, being able to get a whole nights sleep an the most important is able to fit in to society with a good attitude and very friendly outlook towards people you see every day.
    Thank you all
    Freddy

  • Cjmacintosh

    POT SMOKING 101 I had two close friends that I grew up with since we where in grade school , they was the only two in our group that smoked pot since they were 14 – 15 years old , all of our group went to collage , except me I went to work and now own my own advertising business , Les went to art school at Stephens got a 4 year degree in only 7 years , Jerry on the other hand got his phd. At M.U. In agriculture in 10 years . The last time I seen Les he still lives in his moms house (she moved out to her boyfriends house ) he does painting not on canvas but on walls ( as in a house painter ) , One day Sitting in his living room we could see some deer in the backyard his comment was ( fear the deer they are always watching you haven’t you notice) ! And he meant it , Wow he is out there ! And back to Jerry he raises cattle on his dads farm , We all know what farming hours are long , Not for Jerry he starts at noon and works as late as 3:00 or 4:00 pm wow putting in the over time , I am almost ready retired and the two of them struggle every day to make it, I owe there miss fortune to smoking POT most of their lives ! As for the health of smoking I really don’t believe your lungs knows the difference cigarettes smoke and pot smoke , and we all know this is going to be the main way people are going to use POT , All you smokers of anything need to come see me take care of my mother that smoked cigarettes for 20 years now dying ( they say 2-6 months to live ) she lived in the same house for 15 years and can’t find the bedroom or bathroom anymore because she gets lost in her own home. The doctors say its not Alzheimer’s but due to lack of air getting from her lungs to her blood then to her brain,
    (It’s the saddest thing to watch her everyday ) all of you smokers out there this probable will not make you stop smoking you POT and or CIGARETTES but try remember what I am saying to you , while you carrying you air tanks the rest of you lives ! ( So Legalization of Marijuana will have a cost to society in lost taxes from lost wage earners ( I have to leave someone at home with my mother while I work or I take off work to see to her needs )to medical cost later in life put on the back of tax payers !

    • Bo

      You know, I’ve read your rants and I’m starting to believe you are either a backwoods old man with no clear sensibility or capability to do actual research aside from Wikipedia or googling anti marijuana articles, or you are purposely commenting like you are to get under people’s skin. There are people all over this country suffering each day because they are unable to legally have access to a product which has been PROVEN by credible members of the medical field for DECADES. If you were to spend 10 minutes of the time you spent citing those rediculous examples you listed, doing legitimate research you would find the benefits heavily outweigh the negatives of legalization. It’s clear that you are amongst the sheep who will listen to everything you hear on conservative news shows and take it as gospel without question. I hate to let my emotions get the best of me here, but you people are the reason CHILDREN are suffering, as well as cancer patience and anyone else who could benefit from medicinal properties of the plant. WAKE UP. Stop being blinded by propaganda purposely intended for fools like you. What is the one thing all of your examples have in common? Each individual was ALSO under the influence of another substance BESIDES marijuana. I beg you to go ahead and run the numbers of how many people die each year due to tobacco products, alcohal, perscription meds, over the counter meds, and marijuana and see which one comes out the lowest. If you can prove me wrong, I will never smoke another day in my life. But you can’t. I am a senior at a major university with a 3.2 gpa, one year away from achieving a bachelors in computer science. Clearly, by your English (or lack thereof) you haven’t made it past the 11th grade. Your arguments are irrelavent and entirely disputable, therefore so are you. Quit trying to twist the minds of individuals who wish to know the FACTS. If it was your child in need, I bet you might think differently.
      To anyone who had a child suffering everyday, or anyone who is suffering themselves, you have my condolences. I hope and pray everyday that our state representatives can see what kind of difference they can make directly in the lives of its people who PUT THEIR TRUST into them to do so. It’s time to wake up Missouri! Stop the ignorance!

  • Joe

    It was unfortunate that your friends began using marijuana at such a young age-of course abuse of any substance–including overeating can lead to health problems and lack of productivity. I would not fault them for taking longer than average to graduate from college, at least they had the tenacity to stick with it until they earned their degree. Also, they are still working members of society and not a drain on tax payers. Where were their parents when they were 14?

    It is simple and easy to point your finger and blame something for other’s problems in life. Tobacco (nicotine) and marijuana are two completely different substances. Until scientific proof suggests otherwise there is no link between marijuana and cancer.

    Obviously there is a large market for mj in the US. Other than Colorado and Washington the only people profiting from sales are the drug cartels–about 30,000 people in Mexico killed in drug related wars. People have ready access already if they want to obtain it illegally. Look at the big picture–legalize, regulate and tax the product. Use the tax money to benefit society. This will free police to do more productive work (more patrol, etc.).

    And 14 year olds are children. They need strong parental supervision and guidance.

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