Mo. House bill filed to legalize medicinal marijuana

February 22, 2006

Josh Vince, Columbia Missourian

A bill filed in the Missouri House of Representatives reopens the debate about medical marijuana.

Rep. Tom Villa, D-St. Louis, is sponsoring the bill, filed Tuesday, that would allow doctors statewide to prescribe marijuana for patients with serious medical conditions. It is similar to medical marijuana proposals filed in Missouri’s General Assembly in years past. Eleven other states have passed similar bills.

Under the bill, Missouri patients, through their physicians, would contact the state health department to receive an authorization card, which would show that they have a doctor’s approval to use the drug.

“National surveys show a broad base of support for this type of legislation,” Villa said.

Columbia voters approved a proposition last year that allows the use of medical marijuana in the city.

Retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper and undercover narcotics officer Ed Moses said Wednesday that some groups, such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, want legalization of medical marijuana to act as a foothold in making marijuana legal.

“There is no scientific merit to sucking in toxic fumes and calling it medicine,” Moses said.

Doctors are authorized to prescribe other potentially harmful drugs — including opium, cocaine and methamphetamine — to patients for medical reasons, according to current Missouri law. Marijuana is not a recognized pharmaceutical drug.



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