(From New Approach Missouri)
A campaign committee supporting the right of patients to access medical marijuana when recommended by their doctor is one step closer to putting the issue before voters in November 2016. According to campaign finance reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, New Approach Missouri raised over $394,000 through Dec. 31, 2015.
New Approach Missouri announced today that this strong fundraising effort would allow the campaign to start collecting initiative petition signatures from across the state starting on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The campaign has until May 8, to turn in nearly 160,000 valid signatures in order to place the proposed Missouri constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot.
“The outpouring of support we’ve received in favor of Missouri doctors and their seriously ill patients having access to medical cannabis has been astounding,” said Lee Winters, a farmer and businessman from Southwest Missouri and President of the New Approach Missouri board. “2016 is the year we begin to put patients and doctors back in charge of their treatment options.”
New Approach Missouri is a coalition of patients, veterans, law enforcement and medical professionals that formed in 2015 to make Missouri the 24th state that allows state-licensed physicians the option to recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating illnesses.
The proposal would provide additional treatment and relief to Missouri patients who suffer from cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, spinal-cord injuries and other serious or debilitating medical conditions.
Only those patients whose physicians certify in writing that they have a legitimate and serious medical need would be allowed to purchase medical marijuana under this proposal. The state would license and regulate those who are allowed to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana.
As part of the proposal, the small 4% sales tax paid on medical marijuana and the fees associated with obtaining cultivation or dispensary licenses would fund veterans’ health care services in Missouri.
“Missouri veterans deserve nothing less than the absolute best possible medical care and treatment options,” said Tom Mundell, former head of the state VFW and a New Approach Missouri board member. “This ballot initiative will help Missouri keep that solemn promise to our bravest men and women after their service.”
The measure would maintain the prohibition of marijuana use in public and while operating a motor vehicle.
Missourians can volunteer to collect signatures, donate or find out how to sign the initiative petition by visiting www.newapproachmissouri.com