Metro families grateful for Missouri’s passage of medical marijuana amendment

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PARKVILLE, Mo. -- Missouri voters overwhelmingly said "yes" to one of three medical marijuana proposals on Election Day.

Amendment 2 will soon allow patients and caregivers to buy it from dispensaries and even grow plans in their home.

The measure technically becomes law Dec. 7. But getting everything ready for doctors to write medical marijuana prescriptions and dispensaries licensed to distribute will take some time.

Many families facing major medical challenges are ready and eager for what they hope is a game-changer.

Pippa Hull is just 11 years old but has faced more medical challenges than most adults.

"She had a stroke at birth, so she has mild to moderate brain damage and also  has cerebral palsy," said Pippa's mom, Megan Hull.

On top of that, Pippa was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy at age four. She's had two brain surgeries and has tried nearly a dozen different medications to treat severe seizures.

"They'll all work great for a little while, have a little honeymoon period, and then they just stop working and her seizures come back," Hull said.

She said her family even considered moving out of Missouri, so Pippa could have access to medical marijuana elsewhere.

But now thanks to the passage of Amendment 2, they can stay, and she's hopeful medical cannabis could be an answer to their prayers.

"Even though she's failed so many medications, you know, I could be well, 'That's not going to work.' But I always have hope. You have to. To get up in the morning and try something else and just see what's going to work," Hull said.

Julie Quick's been through the same trials with her now adult son, Jake. As a kid, severe seizures sidelined him from doing things he loved, like competitive swimming. She was a long-time skeptic of medical marijuana.

"I was lock, stock and barrel believing in reefer madness and how it was a gateway drug and all these things," Quick said.

But a documentary on cannabis changed her mind. Her son's now tried all kinds of CBD, but the THC is so incredibly low. She's hopeful new medicinal marijuana will finally do the trick and help patients wean off medications that often carry tons of harmful side effects.

"Every medication he's on has a risk factor. He's got other things happening basically because of his meds. He's only 22 and has had kidney stones. He's got GERD. So he has to take extra medication now to deal with those facts. I think it's partly from all the stress, but the cannabis can help with the stress. It can help with the inflammation. It can make such a huge difference," Quick said.

She's also hopeful medical marijuana will provide relief to her mother, who suffers from crippling back pain and is currently maxed out on opioid pain medications.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be in charge of establishing how the new medical marijuana law is implemented. The state has to be ready to issue qualifying patients medicinal marijuana ID cards by June and issue dispensary licenses by August.

That can't come soon enough for families dealing with debilitating diagnoses.

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