Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill Criticized Over Intense Restrictions

Though the majority of Missourians voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use, state lawmakers want to make access to the drug nearly impossible. Bill HB 1554 is highly criticized over its intense restrictions that would block any marijuana use except for participants in ongoing clinical trials.

Critics are calling the House medical marijuana proposal a “crippling preemptive legislation” designed to push the drug as far out of reach from patients as possible. Not only does it set up an almost impossible requirement for patient approval, but it makes prescribing marijuana an incredibly high risk for doctors.

Very few clinical trials on marijuana take place in Missouri. When they do, they are typically brief and limited to specific conditions. Furthermore, most physicians do not make a habit of following and prescribing unproven therapies to their patients.

For those few physicians in the state that are aware of the benefits of medical marijuana, following state clinical trials, and interested in prescribing the drug to their patients; the bill makes doing so a significant risk. It places liability directly on the health care provider for patients civil actions for damages related to their marijuana recommendation.

If any patient is able to get their physician to take the risk and obtain a prescription for medical marijuana, their ability to use the drug will be further restricted. Smoking marijuana would be prohibited, and they would have to stop using the drug when the trial concludes.

This means even if a patient's conditions improve during the trial, they would only have access to marijuana for a limited time.

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