A medical marijuana bill (Senate Bill 573) introduced by State Senator Joe Mosley has unanimously passed the Senate Public Health Committee. The bill states that "no criminal or civil penalty shall apply to any person for the act of possessing marijuana provided that ... a [physician] certifies in writing that the person is under professional care [and] ... needs marijuana as part of a therapeutic regimen".
Missouri NORML Coordinator Dan Viets says that he is pleased with the committee's recommendation to the Senate to pass the bill. However, he added a note of skepticism regarding a last minute amendment to the bill that instructs the University of Missouri to conduct research on the efficacy and safety of whole-smoked cannabis to that of the synthetic-THC drug Marinol.
"I hope this doesn't bog the bill down and undermine the overall purpose of the legislation: to stop seriously ill individuals from going to prison for their medical use of cannabis," Viets said. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.
For more information, please contact Dan Viets of Missouri NORML at (314) 443-6866.