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Time Away Sparks Question…

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Medical Marijuana in Missouri – Nip in the Bud Now or Investigate Further?

By Brian Bowles, MAOPS Executive Director 

I recently spent a week in Colorado with my family. It really hit home how insulated we are here in the Midwest. We hear and joke about the marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado (each has legalized medical and recreational marijuana), but we don’t really see the impact of those laws or understand how similar laws here in our state (or surrounding states) would impact us.

Our first reality check occurred as we drove down the highway from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. A corner house was being painted with a fresh coat of what I can only describe as “marijuana green” paint. In front of the house was sign that read “Green Medicine Wellness” (see photo). The house was home to a medical marijuana dispensary. I am not sure if this was actually a physician’s office or not, but I was further amused by their use of a neon green cross in the window, similar to the “Red Cross” logo, only green. There was an obvious intent to promote this as a “medical” institution.

What was really disconcerting was the temporary banner that had been placed in the front yard of the home by the time we returned through Glenwood Springs. It read, “Recreational Marijuana Now Open to All 21+.” Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year. This gets to the heart of the issue regardless of your feelings on the efficacy of medical marijuana. Is legalization of medical marijuana simply a gateway to future legislation to legalize recreational marijuana? Is this really what we want here in Missouri?

It’s easy to think that we are protected here in good ole conservative Missouri. But the march is on to legalize pot in the state. No less than six bills were filed in our state legislature last session to either legalize marijuana (medical and recreational) or reduce penalties for possession. A hearing on medical marijuana featured impassioned testimony from many, including parents with children with seizure disorders whom they claimed were only helped by marijuana. And yes, even one child was there to illustrate his seizures.

You would think that the hearing would also be loaded with opponents of this as well. But guess what? Only one testified in opposition to the bill – MAOPS! Why is MAOPS opposed to legalization of medical marijuana? One – a scarcity of evidence to show its efficacy. Two – skepticism as to the real intent of those promoting its legalization. There are just too many questions left unanswered to support legalization at this time. Do we want to be walking down the street and have our children exposed to “Cannabis Boutiques” such as those my family passed in Aspen at the base of the ski slopes?

Regardless of personal views on legalization of marijuana, either recreational or medical, everyone needs to be aware of the issue and its potential consequences. Take a look at the picture shown in this blog post illustrating the fine line between medicine and “green wellness.” This line will continue to get blurrier as more states legalize marijuana.

What are your thoughts on medical and recreational marijuana? Let us know! More importantly, ask where your legislators stand on the issue. You would be surprised who supports and who does not support medical and/or recreational marijuana.

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Alan M. Weaver DO says...
Posted Thursday, October 2, 2014
If there is a safe way to test drivers, it should not be illegal for 21 and over.
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