Medicinal Marijuana on the ballot

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three medical marijuana ballot questions that will be offered to Missouri voters in November 2018.

MSMA said there are a limited number of patients who may receive limited relief from minor pain and nausea, but numerous studies have identified negative health effects for a large number of diagnoses.  

Jeff Howell, general counsel for the MSMA, said it there isn't enough research it yet.

“Marijuana is a schedule one drug, which means it’s strictly prohibited. You can't do any type of clinical trials on those drugs so without proper research into the effects of marijuana we feel it’s improper to legalize it for medical purposes at this time,” Howell said.

Until the DEA reclassifies marijuana to allow extensive scientific research, MSMA said Missourians will be gambling with their health using an unregulated drug.

Howell added some of the information out there is misleading.

“There is also a lot of information out there that medical marijuana, there’s not much medical to it. No physician is likely to recommend a patient smoke anything for medicinal purposes. There’s not much medicinal to it, so to speak,” he said.

People on the other side of the argument think quite differently.

Disabled Missouri veteran Joshua Lee says he was taking 27 pills a day in March of 2017 until he took a trip to Colorado.

"I was able to sit with my back to a door at a restaurant, mind blowing let me tell you, especially in a strange state I've never been to and then I faced the crushing reality when i came home to Missouri that my only choice was more pills," he said.

Lee said there is enough research out there.

“It’s mind boggling that there are organizations and groups fighting against it claiming we need more research. I was blown away by the testimonials and actual research coming out Canada, and Europe, and the U.K., and Israel,” he said.

Lee also thinks medical marijuana is less addictive than opiates.

“I accidentally went cold turkey from opiates I was being prescribed. It was tramadol. At the time I was prescribed it was a schedule 3 substance, non addictive no withdrawal potential, just like they said about Oxycontin in the 90s,” he said. “They bumped it up to schedule 2 and I thought it’s not going to affect me as I ate 8 a day. I went cold turkey off that stuff, I forgot to refill my order, it didn't come in the mail, I didn't have any. It kind of opened my eyes, 27 pills a day, but it doesn't matter because the doctor was prescribing me.

There will be three total ballot questions pertaining to legalizing medicinal marijuana.

Two of the ballot measures would change the state constitution, the third would become a statute.

Missouri voters will get to decide at the polls on November 6th.