By John Payne
Exactly 30 days ago, Missouri voters overwhelmingly endorsed Amendment 2, and it officially becomes Article XVI of the Missouri Constitution today! The implementation timeline laid out in the amendment now kicks in, requiring the Department of Health and Senior Services to complete important tasks by specific dates:
- June 4: Release applications for patient cards and medical marijuana businesses.
- July 4: Begin accepting patient applications.
- August 3: Begin accepting applications for businesses.
- December 31: Must certify or deny applications received on August 31.
Implementation brings with it the opportunity to make Missouri’s medical marijuana program the best in the country, but there will be new challenges as well.
For instance, it often takes some time for doctors to adapt to the new program, so now is the ideal time to start talking to your physicians about their willingness to certify patients.
More alarmingly, the Department of Social Services is considering denying government benefits to medical marijuana patients. That’s because of a law prohibiting anyone who uses an illicit substance from receiving those transfers. However, medical marijuana will not be illegal for anyone possessing a patient card, and the amendment explicitly states that patients in compliance with the law shall not be subject to “arrest, criminal or civil liability, or sanctions under Missouri law.”
The Department of Social Services has not made any formal decision yet, so help us remind them that Amendment 2 is the will of nearly two-thirds of Missouri voters, and they cannot deny people services simply because they are patients! Add your name to the online petition here to send a message to the department, and then please share this alert with your friends on social media.
Finally, help us continue to advocate on behalf of patients during implementation by contributing $100, $50, or $25 now. We won a resounding victory last month, but taking the words of Amendment 2 and turning them into an active medical marijuana program will require continued vigilance and support. Contribute now!
Source: New Approach Missouri