Thursday, September 21, 2017

Missouri primed to legalize medical cannabis

After meeting with leaders across the state, a research doctor studying medical cannabis says Missourians are ready to pass a medical marijuana law in 2018.

“Missouri is clearly ready to move forward on medical cannabis,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, principal investigator of an Arizona-based clinical trial of medical cannabis for intractable PTSD. “The level of compassion that elected officials across the state have for suffering patients is incredible.”

New Approach Missouri, a Missouri-based pot promotion organization, is pushing an initiative petition to legalize medical marijuana. Unlike Rep. Neely's bill, their proposed constitutional amendment would restrict the number of licenses granted to businesses, and instead allow Missourians to grow marijuana at home.

Two other medical cannabis initiative petitions have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. Another initiative petition that completely ends cannabis prohibition has also been approved for circulation.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Missouri medical cannabis movement unites for victory in 2018

The movement to legalize medical cannabis in Missouri has been plagued with infighting for nearly a decade. That ended last week with the resignation of one high-profile activist who made inflammatory remarks about police officers.

"I apologize for the sign I held," said Trish Bertrand, who resigned from New Approach Missouri after claiming that law enforcement officers are associated with the KKK. "I can and will do better at voicing my frustrations in a more productive manner in the future. United we stand, divided we fall."

The newfound unity among medical cannabis supporters in Missouri comes as Republican pot advocates continue to crop up around the U.S.

Throughout 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump vowed to respect state rights in regards to cannabis. He expressed support for medical marijuana, telling Bill O'Reilly and others that he's "in favor of medical marijuana 100%," and that he believes "we should leave it up to the states."

Last month, former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone announced an initiative to lobby Trump in support of cannabis legalization.

“I am confident that with our support, the president will ultimately keep his word and do the right thing," said Stone, who has since been slated as a keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition.

With a large grassroots movement now united to help suffering patients, Missouri is set to legalize medical cannabis in 2018 through legislative action or the initiative petition process.

This year, two Missouri House committees overwhelmingly approved a Republican measure to expand the State's 'Right To Try' law to include medical cannabis dispensed through state-licensed entities. The bill did not receive final passage, but will be reconsidered in 2018.

New Approach Missouri is spearheading a medical cannabis initiative petition that would allow even non-terminal patients to access the drug. Also unlike Rep. Neely's bill, the proposed constitutional amendment would restrict the number of licenses granted to businesses, and instead permit Missourians to grow marijuana at home.

Two other medical cannabis initiative petitions have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. Another initiative petition that completely ends cannabis prohibition has also been approved for circulation.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Republican pot advocates crop up despite heckling from progressives

New Approach Missouri coordinator Trish Bertrand works
to push all Republicans out of Missouri's cannabis movement.
Former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone has joined a new crop of Republicans in vowing to repair the broken federal system that stifles patients' access to medical cannabis in the U.S.

“I am confident that with our support, the president will ultimately keep his word and do the right thing," Stone said last month. He has since been slated as a keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition.

Unfortunately, a small group of progressive activists is working to push Republicans out of the cannabis movement completely. Many democrats scheduled to take part in the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition next month have threatened to back out if organizers allow Stone to speak.

“Maybe Roger Stone isn’t a racist, but you know what’s just as bad as being a racist? Using other people’s racism as a means to achieve your own political ends,” said Kaliko Castille, a progressive activist. "If our industry decides to buddy up to [Republicans] who have blood on their hands, there is no way for us to come out clean.”

Some partisan State marijuana organizations have also joined in the divisive effort to stop Republicans from supporting medical cannabis.

"One of the other Cannabis reform camps has aligned with Roger Stone; that's disgusting and not acceptable in my opinion," said Trish Bertrand, a coordinator for New Approach Missouri, a left-leaning marijuana organization. "Cops and the KKK go hand in hand."


The medical cannabis movement should be about patient rights, not partisanship.


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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Columbia City Council to consider medical cannabis

To combat the opioid epidemic and open a door for improved policing practices, a Columbia city councilman plans to push for legalization of medical marijuana. Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp hopes to rally a majority of the city council behind an effort to add medical cannabis legalization to the city’s lobbying agenda.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jeff Sessions at odds with DEA on marijuana research

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stopped the Drug Enforcement Administration from approving dozens of requests to grow marijuana for research purposes. The move comes as President Trump's patience for Jeff Sessions continues to wear thin.

When it comes to medical cannabis the Attorney General's ideas are at odds with the President's.

The DEA has 25 proposals to consider, but officials need the Justice Department’s approval to move forward. Unfortunately, Sessions has not budged.

“They’re sitting on it,” said one law enforcement. “They just will not act on these things.”

The Justice Department has effectively shut down a program that would enhance medical knowledge and expand access to compassionate medical care.



Lauren Ehrsam, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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