|Patients who could benefit from the legalization of marijuana for medical use in the state of Missouri and their supporters gathered in the Missouri state capitol today. Their purpose was to ask Speaker Rod Jetton to assign House Bill 1830 to a committee so that it will have a chance to be heard.
Jetton has begun a practice of failing to discharge his duty as Speaker to assign certain bills to committees if he does not like those bills, according to Dan Viets, an attorney in private practice in Columbia, MO who specializes in the defense of civil rights and marijuana cases. Last year, Viets revealed that Jetton chose to withhold a committee assignment of the medical marijuana legislation until the final day of the session!
Patients who are suffering from symptoms of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, cancer and the side effects of its treatment as well as other very serious ailments are presently threatened with prosecution if they use a medication recommended by their doctors as patients in twelve other states are presently allowed to do.
Recently, the American College of Physicians endorsed a statement that marijuana should be rescheduled so that it would be available for prescription and supported enacting legal protections for patients and their doctors. The ACS is the nation's second largest physicians' organization.
In August of 2007 a Rasmussen Report poll of likely voters in the state of Missouri commissioned by Fox News in St. Louis indicated that 57% of Missouri voters support legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
Under current Missouri law, doctors are specifically authorized to prescribe hundreds of potentially deadly and/or addictive drugs including opium, methamphetamine and cocaine. It is incomprehensible why legislators would deny those same doctors the ability to authorize their patients to use a relatively safe and non-addictive substance like marijuana. To continue to deprive Missourians of the same relief from their spasms, pain and other symptoms is unconscionable.
House Bill 1830 is sponsored by eleven members of the House, more than ever before. Similar bills are now pending in the states of Kansas and Illinois as well as several other states around the country.