JEFFERSON CITY — The House shot down efforts to legalize medical marijuana during debate on a bill that would ban the fake stuff.
The amendment, which popped up in the middle of a House debate to criminalize the synthetic marijuana known as K2, was voted down. But, the bill itself received first-round approval.
"Who are we to tell terminally ill patients that some substance that can provide them relief isn't good enough for them?" said Rep. Jason Holsman, D-Jackson County, one of a small group of Democrats who pushed for the measure.
Holsman also said there were several other benefits to allowing limited usage of the drug. He said it would keep non-violent drug offenders out of prisons and allow the state to tax marijuana purchases.
"This is a way to relieve our court system, to provide relief to terminally ill patients, to trust our doctors and to raise revenue on top of it," he said.
But most legislators weren't convinced of the benefits. Rep. Tim Flook, R-Liberty, said, "It's about a party, not about illness," and remained skeptical about how many patients actually would use a prescription of marijuana for legitimate medical reasons.
"You can look it up on YouTube, of would-be so-called patients in chronic pain in their doctor's office, joking about their fake ailment right before they get their marijuana prescription," he said.
The amendment is similar to a bill filed by Rep. Kate Meiners, D-Jackson County, which has not been assigned a committee.
Legislators also voted against two amendments that would require a prescription for over-the-counter medicine purchases containing pseudophedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine.