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The following text is a press release from NORML that was released on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
A bill which will permit marijuana to be grown legally in the state of Missouri for the first time since cannabis prohibition began and which will allow cannabidiol (CBD) to be extracted from those plants and provided to patients with intractable epilepsy was signed into law by Governor Nixon on Monday, July 14. The Governor waited until the last day for signing such bills to put his signature on it. Had he not signed it, it would have become law without his signature. Had he vetoed it, the legislature would almost certainly have overridden that veto.
Passage of this law is the result of decades of medical marijuana legislation being filed and debated in the Missouri General Assembly. Bills to allow cannabis to be used as medicine have been filed since at least the 1980s, but support for them was limited until this year. While this bill will only allow medical marijuana to be administered to a small group of patients who need it, it is an important step toward broader medical marijuana law reform. Missouri NORML, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation and their allies will work with patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and many other ailments and injuries to continue to fight for legal access to cannabis for treatment of their symptoms.
The CBD law received support from 90% of members of the Missouri House and unanimous support in the Missouri Senate. It contains an emergency clause and, therefore, became effective on Monday, July 14. Missouri joins ten other states which passed CBD laws this year. Twenty-three (23) other states and the District of Columbia have broader medical marijuana legislation on the books.
This bill was sponsored by Representative Caleb Jones, an attorney who represents Boone County in the Missouri House. The bill was actively supported by Missouri NORML, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation and other allied organizations seeking to end the criminal prohibition of responsible cannabis use by adults.
See past Ladybud Magazine coverage of CBD issues, including CBD-only laws.
The CBD law was one of several positive marijuana law reform measures passed by the legislature this year. The Criminal Code revisions eliminated jail for first offense possession of small amounts, reduced the penalties for cultivation and sale of marijuana and eliminated the “prior and persistent drug offender” law which prohibited the possibility of either probation or parole for defendants with two or more prior felony drug convictions. The legislature also passed an important bill opting out of the federal lifetime prohibition on eligibility for food stamps for those who have a prior drug conviction. This bill addresses the absurd inequity under which those convicted of murder, rape, robbery and other crimes of violence were able to obtain food stamps, but those convicted of non-violent drug offenses were not. It also will bring millions of additional tax dollars back to the state of Missouri in the form of supplemental nutrition assistance which will stimulate further activity in the state’s economy.
Photo Credit: Darxus under (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons