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Missouri Is Next In Line For Medical Marijuana

Alex Smith
KCUR 89.3
Medical marijuana supporters cheered election results at an Amendment 2 watch party Tuesday night in Kansas City.

Missouri became the latest state to legalize medical marijuana Tuesday when voters went for one of the three ballot measures: Amendment 2. 

Both Amendment 3 and Proposition C failed, meaning that the courts won't have to decide which program is implemented.

Many advocates at an Amendment 2 watch party at Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City celebrated the results as a victory for those seeking alternatives to mainstream medicine.

"If my doctor and myself — if we agree that medical marijuana will be the best solution for me because of a back ailment or migraines or PTSD or stress or whatever — then I'm happy now that I would be able to get me some brownies or a flower," medical marijuana advocate Angela Boykins said.

Amendment 2 allows for a short list of medical conditions qualifying someone to obtain the drug at a dispensary with a doctor’s recommendation. It also creates a 4 percent tax on the drug that will go to veterans programs and job training. There will be 24 or more dispensaries across the state.

Alongside patient advocates, others at Tuesday’s party celebrated the beginning of what will likely be a new major industry in the state.

“On a business level, I think it makes sound business sense to see the economy locally here grow,” said Star Palmer, who said she plans to start a medical marijuana business.

Amendment 2 also allows people who have received recommendations to grow up to six flowering marijuana plants for their own use if they obtain a state card subject to annual fees.

Voter approval of Amendment 2 brings to a conclusion years of coordinated legalization efforts by patients, veterans and other groups from across the state.

“Through this vigorous Amendment 2 campaign that we’ve run, we’ve really reached out to every corner of the state, and we’re seeing tremendous results,” said Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for New Approach Missouri, the group that backed the amendment.

Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him through email: alexs@kcur.org.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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