House votes against legalizing medical marijuana

Monday, March 15, 2010 | 9:06 p.m. CDT; updated 11:11 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 15, 2010

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.

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Justin Hoppensteadt March 16, 2010 | 10:51 a.m.

Jut look how out of control it has gotten in California. I found this map and its of all their legal pot stores and its a shame. This is going to spread everywhere unless we keep up legislation like this.

(Report Comment)
Johnny Green March 16, 2010 | 12:00 p.m.

Marijuana use itself is not that bad, it's the marijuana laws that are the problem. If someone chooses to consume marijuana, they should do it responsibly. The first step toward re-education on marijuana is getting people to realize what the current laws are. Depending on which state you are in, you can get jail time and hefty fines for just testing positive for marijuana or possessing a used pipe. Want to know what the marijuana laws are in your state? Go to to find out.

(Report Comment)
Jeffrey Lebowski March 16, 2010 | 1:23 p.m.

I hope to god Tim Flook gets terminal cancer. That would be a great does of irony.

(Report Comment)
Mark Pedersen March 16, 2010 | 5:07 p.m.

Shame on you, Rep Flook. Your ignorance is only outdone by your bigotry. To site one video on youtube in order to write off the sum total of medical cannabis patients is beyond unconscionable.

I have over 150 video interviews that I have conducted of chronically and terminally ill patients, many of which are available for viewing on youtube.

It was because of bigoted statements like this that I founded Sensible Missouri, Missouri's medical cannabis patient union. We are currently having patient conferences ALL over the state. If you want to know the truth, AND meet REAL medical cannabis patients, all you have to do is attend one of our meetings.
March 27th - Columbia, April 10th - St. Louis, May 1st - Fulton, May 29th - Kansas City, June 19th - Joplin. More dates will be available soon. Checkout for more details on these events.

Rep. Flook: I too, am a medical cannabis patient, but even though my story IS on youtube, I won't trouble you to look it up. Instead, I'll make it a point to tell you personally...and I will be expecting a public apology (on camera) when I do. I'll see you soon, and I'll bring a sizable part of the state when I come calling.

Mark Pedersen
Sensible Missouri

(Report Comment)
JASON MADURA March 17, 2010 | 8:40 a.m.

Amazing!! how can anyone sit there and say we should give dieing people what they want. The safest form of medication what pharmaceutical compnay is lobbying against it in this state?

(Report Comment)
linda yelvington March 22, 2010 | 12:22 p.m.

I currently have numerous prescriptions for narcotic pain medication, yet am in constant pain. I live with the knowlege that I will build tolerance to these drugs rapidly, needing stronger prescriptions frequently. I also know these drugs have the potential to kill me if I take too much, and they currently are the number one cause of death among teenagers.

Studies done in Berkley last year show the use of opioid type painkillers (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, etc) can be reduced by 50% or more when medical cannabis is administered.Also, it is not tolerance building as the opiates are, there is zero potential for overdose, and is less addictive than caffine.

I would like to have a safer choice of medication. It is too bad Missouri legislators get their education on youtube. Perhaps they prefer rhetoric and opinion to facts.

Like Mark Pedersen, I will be expecting an apology. Not just for Rep. Flook's ignorance, but for the suffering he has so callously perpetuated.

(Report Comment)
Nathan E April 7, 2010 | 12:57 p.m.

Ok, Justin Hoppensteadt, let me ask you this. How many stores are there within 10 miles of your house that sell alcohol? Let alone how many liquor stores there are in comparison to dispensaries within an are as large as LA county. More people are killed by drunk drivers every year than cancer and you can buy beer just about anywhere that sells soda or food. Have you ever heard 1 news report about a driver under the influence of marijuana wrecking their car into some family and killing them? No, you haven't. Use a little common sense before you post such an insanely stupid comment. Medical users, most of them, aren't supposed to be driving or operating heavy machinery anyway. And also, the amount of dispensaries in LA county was a counter measure against the DEA who until Obama stepped in, were busting the doors down and raiding these dispensaries (which as you know are completely legal by state law) and shutting them down on a weekly basis. If there are only a dozen or so shops in town,(which by the way if you've ever driven across LA and it's suburbs it takes nearly 2 hours from 1 side to the other, longer depending on traffic)and the DEA keeps shutting them down, how are patients supposed to get their medication? People who REALLY need it just to be able to eat a handful of crackers and a glass of water without puking being forced to find someone to drive them an hour 1 direction to get their meds, and then having to wait to get home to take them. Because it is not legal for a medical marijuana patient to use their medication in public. You would put a terminal cancer patient through that kind of hell of trying to attain their meds just to limit the amount of dispensaries there are? What a jackass you are.

(Report Comment)

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