2018-041 Missouri’s Amendment 3


Here is my critique of yet another attempt to amend Missouri’s Constitution.

Before even viewing the text of this document, I was stunned by it’s very glut. Though not the largest of the three 2018 Missouri “medical Cannabis” initiatives that will be on the ballet (“Proposition C” surpasses it), it is the second largest. But It most certainly is every bit as tedious and deceptive.  Time does not permit me to address all the troubling nonsense that permeates this document.

As you read through the text below, you’ll notice that I haven’t included the entire document, or even commented on everything I have highlighted.  The reason – there is much YOU need to deliberate on…particularly the motives and expectations of the author.  Read it all carefully, realizing just how much this “deboggle” will impact your life.

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Be it resolved by the people of the State of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

One new article and twelve new sections are adopted by adding twelve new sections to a new Article, to be known as Sections I through Section 12 of Article XIV to read as follows:

Section 1. Purpose.

(a)       For the purpose of benefiting the citizens of Missouri by providing for medical research to find and develop cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable and chronic diseases or medical conditions. and by funding said medical research by the legalization and use of medical marijuana or its derivatives as palliative or ameliorative treatment for any such condition. with taxes on medical marijuana or any derivatives thereof as set forth herein. with the proceeds of such taxes to be used to establish. provide for. and continue such medical research as provided herein. This Article XIV permits authorized physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions. The Article XIV allows patients with qualifying medical conditions the right to discuss freely with their physicians the possible benefits of medical marijuana use. the right of their physicians to provide professional advice concerning the same. and the right to use medical marijuana for treatment under the supervision of a physician. This Article XIV is not intended to change current civil and criminal laws governing the use of marijuana for nonmedical purposes. The section does not allow for the public use of marijuana or driving under the influence of marijuana.
It doesn’t take one very long in the read to find what this initiative is really all about.  Most of these “medical” initiatives that are popping up across the country are all about starting a “dispensary” industry.  This one is slightly different in that it takes that to a new level.  This one would establish a “research” program that would be endorsed and enforced by the state and financed by Cannabis sales – with VERY marginal benefit for a VERY limited number of Cannabis patients.

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Section 2. Definitions:

As used in this Article XIV, the following terms shall mean:

(a)  “Administer” means the direct application of marijuana to the body of a qualifying patient by any approved methods. as defined herein.

(b)  “Approved methods” for the administration of marijuana are defined to include ingestion of capsules, teas and other sanctioned marijuana-infüsed products. vaporization or smoking of dried flowers/buds, oils, resins, or plant material, application of ointments, patches, suppositories or balms, consuming marijuana infused food products or any other method recommended by a qualifying patient’s physician and approved by the Research Board.

(c)  “Article XIV Coordinator” means the individual who coordinates activation and implementation of this Article X IV and its subsections by initially and temporarily functioning as the Chairperson of the Research Board of the Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute and Chairperson of the Land Acquisition Board until those positions are otherwise filled pursuant to this Article XIV’.

(d)  “Authorized physician” means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice medicine or osteopathy under Missouri law and has not in the past ten years had their licensed suspended. or in the last twenty years revoked, for excessively dispensing controlled substances.

(e)  “Building and construction” means the erection. renovation. development or remodeling of any structure allowed for in this article including. but not limited to marijuana cultivation facilities, offices, buildings, clinics, hospitals, sidewalks, roads, public transit systems and structures, public recreational and entertainment facilities, community developments, landscaping, green spaces, enterprise zones, housings, parks, recreational areas and the planning, design, development, architectural design and engineering of any of the same.
(f) “Campus” means the primary and main physical location of a campus where medical research and treatment shall be performed, medical marijuana and the diseases it ameliorates may be cultivated and studied. and headquarters of the Research Board and where the Research Board shall primarily operate. also including but not limited to the campus selected and developed under land acquisition and land development and used as the primary physical location for jobs, building and construction, land development, improvements, research, cures and education in Missouri in the endeavor to find cures for presently incurable diseases under this Article XIV.
Amazing the grandiose dreams this writer must be having.  It seems the writer expects an extremely lucrative return from their ridiculously marginalized cash-cow.  This is a common occurrence among those new to Cannabis and it’s blinded-by-greed profiteers.  This also includes money-hungry lawmakers with ZERO understanding (or care) regarding the impact Cannabis could have on Missouri and the nation.  All they know or care about are the endless “pot” stories on TV showing kids buying hundreds of dollars worth of “recreational” Cannabis.  It’s quite apparent that the author is completely oblivious of the fact that the ones he hopes to profit from are chronically and/or terminally ill and more than likely impoverished.

I recall my last trip to Jefferson City with a group of Missouri Cannabis patients in tow.  I was soliciting for sponsors for the last House Bill I had edited and appended.  I remember how one Representative expounded on how he wanted to charge every patient a “hundred dollars per plant”.  After introducing him to a number of seriously ill patients whose lives were preserved with Cannabis, all he could do was tell very distasteful “pot jokes”.
How could you expect anything meaningful from such morally corrupt individuals. (BTW…he was/is a Democrat and is now, I believe, a state senator, …and, I am told, a major proponent of Amendment No. 2).

Cures?
(g)  “Cures” means any and all cures. also including but not limited to, medical treatments. psychiatric and psychological treatments. medications. protocols. therapies. surgeries. genetic material. biologicals, behavioral treatments. clinical trials. laboratory studies. diagnostic tests. evaluations. counseling. treatments. implants. grafts. hardware. orthotics. machines, electronic devices. computers. software programs. studies. and endeavors that help or may help in studying, slowing. curing. eliminating. halting. placing in remission. ameliorating. ending, or regressing any or all presently incurable diseases. targeted diseases. or conditions. illnesses and diseases that are otherwise incurable.
It’s through lines like this that definitions become so “muddied”.  By this writer’s definition, “cures” don’t just refer to a patient’s reversal of disease, but also “computers and software programs”?
My definition of “a cure” would be:  “
the knowledge of how to isolate a patient from what has caused the disease, the ability to eradicate it’s presence from the body, and the skill required to restore the patient’s body to health without further treatments.”
 

I don’t see Cannabis as a “cure”…not yet, though I have seen patients attain seemingly infinite remission.  I have photographed Cannabis oil applied topically, killing melanoma tumors.  I see Cannabis therapies as “treatments” of highly nutritious food that has profoundly therapeutic benefit.

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(j)  “Education” means any and all education, also including but not limited to, teaching, training and education that is, directly or indirectly necessary, helpful or supportive to jobs, building and construction, land development, campus development, campus improvement, research, jobs and education in Missouri in the endeavor to find cures for incurable diseases.
(k) “Endeavor” means any and all endeavors. also including but not limited to. attempts. quests, searches, championing. pursuit. travel. work. inquiries. treatments. protocols. implementations, and research relating to jobs. building and construction. land development, campus, research and education in Missouri in the effort to find cures for presently incurable diseases.

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(m)  “Jobs” means any and all forms of jobs and work pursuant to this Article XIV, also including but not limited to. salaries. consultants and fees. employment of individuals where the work classification is directly or indirectly related to building and construction. land development. campus. research. cures and education in Missouri in the endeavor to find cures for presently incurable diseases.
(n)  “Land acquisition” means the acquisition of real and personal property. also including but not limited to investigations. inquiries. studies. plans and review of data to determine five potential locations for land development and acquisition for a campus where jobs will be had. building and construction will occur and research and education in Missouri will take place in the endeavor to find cures for presently incurable diseases and where the Research Board shall be primarily located.
(o)  “Land development” means any and all land planning and development. also including but not limited to studies. inquiries. exploration. research. planning. and actual purchase of lands, buildings. real estate and property related to site development and campus. land acquisition, land design and use. covenants. restrictions. and ancillary jobs. building and construction. research and education in Missouri in the endeavor to find cures for presently incurable diseases.
Notice how often the author expounds on the treatment of “incurable diseases?  One would think he is quite confident that he will prove that Cannabis will “cure” “incurable disease, but that’s not what he’s actually saying. He’s left the methods of treatment rather broad.
It appears he has committed MUCH state(?) funds to building quite an elaborate facility(s)…  He expects that his heavily regulated, draconian approach to a “dispensary model” will fund it all. 

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(q)  “Marijuana” means Cannabis indica. Cannabis sativa. and Cannabis ruderalis. hybrids of such species. and any other strains. including but not limited to extractions. resins. concentrates and infusions. commonly understood within the scientific community to constitute or contain marijuana. and the seeds of such plants. “Marijuana” does not include industrial hemp containing a crop-wide average tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths of one percent on a dry weight basis. or commodities or products manufactured from industrial hemp. or synthetic marijuana.
Again, the author demonstrates his limited knowledge of Cannabis.  Industrial hemp is, in essence, a “sativa”…cultivated for industrial purposes. Prior to the imposing of the derogatory term “marijuana” in the thirties, ALL Cannabis was called “hemp”.  The “.03%” or less THC description has no basis in science.  Further, imposing such a definition on industrial hemp cripples the industry.  THC, in varying levels, exists in ALL strains of Cannabis, even those used for industrial purposes.  Cannabis is one plant of many strains, with a wide gamete of uses.

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(r)  “Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility” means a facility. person or entity. licensed by the Research Board. to cultivate in Missouri. store and transport in Missouri and sell in Missouri. marijuana to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility for sale for medical use or to a Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility for use and manufacture in mariiuana-infused/extraction products for sale to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility for sale for medical use.

(s)  “Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility” means a facility, person or entity, licensed by the Research Board to cultivate in Missouri, store and transport in Missouri and sell in Missouri marijuana for research purposes or to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility for sale for medical use or to a Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility for use and manufacture in marijuana infused/extraction products for sale to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility for sale for medical use with such Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities participating in the research in some fashion directed towards the use of medical marijuana by voluntary surveys or otherwise with qualifying patients who purchase the research cultivated marijuana.
Is it a “research facility” or a “retail outlet”?

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(x)  “Participating research entities” means public. private. quasi-public or quasi-private entities or individuals that enter into contracts with the Research Board for research. building and construction and endeavors to facilitate finding cures for presently incurable diseases.
Google’s definition of “quasi” is “seemingly; apparently but not really.

(y)  “Physician certification” means a written document. valid for up to twenty-four (24) months from the date of the authorized physician’s signature. signed by an authorized physician. that states in the physician’s professional opinion. the qualifying patient suffers from a qualifying medical condition. is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying medical condition. and that the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana may outweigh the health risks to the qualifying patient.
It’s obvious that the writers of Amend. No. 2 and Amend. No. 3 were in communication, if only to copy each other’s copied text.

As long as Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug by Missouri law (this initiative makes no effort to change that), Missouri physicians cannot “prescribe” Cannabis.  States that have created “medical” programs that operate under current drug scheduling (all) refer to “physician recommendations”.  Changing the language here is only an attempt to redirect.

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(hh)  “Secondary Campus” means Research Board discretionary secondary physical locations, including but not limited to building and construction of such secondary campuses that will operate in collaboration with any accredited medical or pharmacy school located within Missouri under this Article XIV. section 5. and used for jobs. building and construction, research. cures. and education in Missouri in the endeavor to find cures for presently incurable diseases under this Article XIV.
Ever wondered why Cannabis is rarely permitted in conventional hospitals and clinics? Collaboration would require mimicking Federal “IND (Investigational New Drug) program criteria.  In order to be able to “collaborate with an accredited medical or pharmacy school”, since Cannabis is still a Missouri Schedule I drug by this initiative, and to conform to the Federal CSL, Cannabis would have to be treated like any other Schedule I drug (like heroin).

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(jj) “Targeted Disease(s)” means any and all presently incurable diseases that are. or may be. specifically identified or singled out. or otherwise isolated. whether by type. sub-type. sub-sub-type. and to show by example: breast cancer. or interlobular breast cancer. or estrogen positive breast cancer. or estrogen negative interlobular breast cancer, or poorly differentiated estrogen positive interlobular breast cancer. etc.: or leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia. or acute lymphocytic leukemia with certain genetic markers, or chronic myelogenous leukemia, etc.; or Parkinson’s disease. or early onset Parkinson’s disease, etc.: or endogenous depression. or depression secondary to bipolar disorder, etc.
So, the writer is willing to state that Cannabis could be effective in treating all these terminal illnesses…children and adults..correct?  Why else would one have such a seemingly detailed list?  And yet, the writer intends to treat the patients as if they were illegal drug users and their medicine as if it were a toxin?  Why else would the restrictions and penalties so outweigh the benefits?  …remember, this is for a NON-TOXIC, HIGHLY MEDICINAL PLANT.

Section 3. Research Board and Duties.

(a)  There is hereby created and established as a governmental instrumentality of the State of Missouri the “Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute” which shall constitute a body corporate and politic and operate pursuant to this Article XIV. The Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute shall exist on a campus established by building and construction on land acquired and land developed pursuant to this Article. On this Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute campus research shall be performed in the endeavors to find cures for presently incurable diseases. The Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute shall have located on its campus targeted disease research groups to further this research.
Are you following what the writer is trying to do?  He wants to birth a pharmaceutical research “institute” that will be a part of Missouri state government and funded by medical Cannabis sales.

(b)  “Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute” shall be governed by the “Board of Biomedical Research and Drug Development” hereafter “Research Board“.

(c.)      It is expressly directed and permitted that the “Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute” and the “Research Board” shall not be assigned to any Missouri Department but rather shall be an independent institute existing and operating pursuant to this Article XIV under the direction of the Research Board.
So, the writer would like for Missouri’s voters to approve the establishment of a basically “private” institute, by an Amendment to the state  constitution.

(d)  In the event Section 3 subsection (c) of this Article XIV is contrary to existing superseding constitutional law the “Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute” and “Research Board” shall be transferred by operation of Article IV section 12 to a department. then they shall be assigned to the Department of Health and Senior Services with supervision of the department extending only to budgeting and repolting as provided by subdivisions (4) and (5) of subsection 6 of section I of the Reorganization Act of 1974.
Supervision by the department shall not extend to matters relating to policies. regulatory functions or other matters specifically entrusted to the Research Board by this Article XIV. and neither the director of the department nor any employee of the department shall. directly or indirectly. interfere with the activities of the Research Board or the research provided by this Article XIV.
Again…very confusing.  An “independent institute”, but it can be “transferred” or “assigned” to the Department of Health and Senior Services…?

(e)       The Research Board is charged by the people of the State of Missouri to effectuate this Article XIV. to find cures for currently incurable diseases. and to the extent reasonably practicable generate income pursuant to this Article X IV to the State of Missouri with such cures.
The responsibility for this mess will fall on the people of the State of Missouri, after all, if they vote for it , they must want this…

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(g)  Any member of a Board established by this Article XIV may be removed for cause by a vote of three fourths of both the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate. with the concurrence of the Governor.
In order to remove someone from the Board, it would literally take a 3/4’s vote from both the Missouri House and Senate – AND – the approval of the Governor.  That’s what it takes TO PASS A STATE BILL.  I couldn’t make this stuff up!

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(k) The Research Board shall consist of nine members to be selected. as soon as practicable. by the Article XIV Coordinator as set forth in this Article XIVt one of whom shall be selected by the Article XIV Coordinator as Research Chairperson. The Article XIV Coordinator shall serve as Research Chairperson until the nine members are selected at which time the Article XIV Coordinator is terminated from the Research Board. The members of the Board. other than the temporary “then existing Research Board” in section 3(t). selected by the Article XIV Coordinator shall serve the following terms: four shall serve three years. and five. including the Research Chairperson, shall serve six years. Thereafter. each appointment shall be for a term of six years. Upon conclusion of the Research Chairperson’s first term. or vacancy. whichever comes first. the Research Board shall choose from within their members a Research Chairperson. If for any reason a vacancy occurs. the Research Chairperson shall appoint a new member to fill the unexpired term. Members are eligible for up to four reappointments. Although members of the Research Board and Article X IV Coordinator may hold other employment. no member of such Research Board shall hold any public office. and no member shall hold any official position in a political party.
This reads like a shell game.  Can you say “convoluted”? So, the nine “Research Board” members (6 year term) are appointed by the “Article XIV Coordinator”, with one of which will be selected to be “Research Chairperson”. The board then in turn can “reappoint” it’s members up to four times (24 years??)  Please tell me that I’m reading this wrong..

i.  It is expressly directed and permitted that the person who is designated on the initially submitted Initiative Petition Submission Cover Page to be the contact person to whom any notices shall be sent under sections 1 16.140 and 1 16.180 RSMo for the initiative petition filed for this Alticle XIV pursuant to RSMo 1 16.100 and 1 16.332 shall serve as the Article XIV Coordinator.
ii.  If the person who is designated on the initially submitted Initiative Petition Submission Cover Page to be the contact person to wh0111 any notices shall be sent under sections 1 16.140 and 1 16 180 RSMo for the initiative petition filed for this Article XIV pursuant to RSMo 116.100 and 1 16.332 for any reason does not serve as the Article XIV Coordinator the Governor shall appoint an individual who is both a licensed Missouri physician and licensed Missouri attorney, but if no such person is available or accepts the appointment, then any Missouri resident who also holds a Missouri license to practice medicine and a PhD in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Genetics, Anatomy or equivalent degree: from an accredited university that has been in existence at least fifty (50) years.
Wherever are we going to find someone with these qualifications?  Oh wait…  I believe the author of this initiative does. Must be a coincidence, right?

iii.  The Article XIV Coordinator shall serve without compensation but shall receive reimbursement for all expenses associated with the performance and delegation of all duties pursuant to this Article XIV, and shall have two administrative assistants who shall each be paid out of the General Purpose Account at the rate of a Missouri State Representative, so long as there are funds available. If no funds are immediately available, the administrative assistants may serve with deferred compensation until funds are available and when funds become available the administrative assistants shall be paid the full compensation owed, as shall the expenses of the Article XIV Coordinator be reimbursed.
Again, remember this is all being written into the Missouri State Constitution.  By doing so, the writer guarantees that these sections won’t be diminished once this mess makes it into the hands of his fellow lawmakers.

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ix.  To form advisory panels of licensed cultivators, infusers/extractors. and dispensaries:
Here come the outside interests.  After all, there are no “licensed cultivators or infuser/extractors or dispensaries currently in Missouri.

x.  To acquire. hold. lease. sell and dispose of personal property for its purpose:

xi.  To sell, at public or private sale. any mortgage. negotiable instrument or obligation securing building and construction or land development;

xii.  To enter into agreements or other transactions with any federal or state agency, international entity, any person or any domestic or foreign partnership. corporation. association or organization:

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license fees
(n) The Research Board shall charge fees for each applicant for each license to operate a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility, Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility or Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility as follows: I . Except for Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facilities, a non-refundable $25,000 application fee for each type of facility which shall constitute the licensure fee for the first year of licensure; 2. For Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facilities a non-refundable $5,000 application fee which shall constitute the licensure fee for the first year of licensure and, in addition 3. For each type of facility in each subsequent licensure year, a fee equal to 125% of the pro-rata estimated average yearly cost to the Research Board of administrating and enforcing this Article XIV application and licensing process, estimated over a five (5) year period, divided equally among all applicants based on the yearly estimated number of applicants for such licenses over the same five (5) year period, as reasonably estimated by the Research Board.
Senselessly over complicated.  Basically, all things that are considered operating expenses for the “Research Board” will be totaled, averaged over a five year period and be charged out equally to all “Marijuana facilities” as their fee to do business.

* THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE *  —  SET MONTHLY LIMITS 
(o) The Research Board shall set a limit on the amount of marijuana that may be purchased per month, provided that limit is not less than three (3) ounces every thirty (30) days of dried unprocessed marijuana or its extract equivalent as reasonably determined by the Research Board. A requested waiver of any such limit may be reviewed by the Research Board for a qualifying patient with written certification from two physicians, not of the same clinic, setting forth compelling reasons for additional amounts requested.
Hmmm…How much Cannabis oil can be produced from “3 ounces” of flower?  Certainly NOT “30 days” worth if you’re battling serious chronic or terminal illness. The fact is, the author doesn’t have a clue, which begs the question, why would the author put such a remark into the Missouri Constitution?

Though I have produced Cannabis oil at home, to treat myself and my most terminal patients, it would only be a guess for me as well.  The reason: the smaller the batch, the more likely you are to scorch it – limiting or destroying the chances of a yield. Of course, that would be if you were attempting to make it at home, which, with this initiative would be illegal.
It’s hard to say how dispensaries, or the “Research Board” will interpret this if this initiative were to pass. Be assured, when it comes to limiting access,  the lawmakers will be working quite diligently in the state statutes for quite some time.
But of course, if this limited amount of “dried unprocessed marijuana” is not enough for ya, you can always, at your own expense, seek out TWO physicians, from two SEPARATE clinics, to approve an increase – after the Research Board has approved the increase, of course.
Here in Colorado, getting specialists to provide a recommendation is much like finding a four leaf clover. For most, it might as well be a unicorn.  Specialists characteristically belong to medical groups, so there decision is not their’s alone.  With Cannabis remaining a Schedule I drug by Missouri law, unless a physician has a Schedule I license, they would not be able to continue their regular practice AND recommend Cannabis.

So who does this line really address?  A patient with mild symptoms?…most certainly nothing life threatening. It appears that the author sees patients as nothing more than “potheads” who just want to smoke pot occasionally. That might seem fine to some recreational users, but without a doctor’s “certification”, they won’t have access… at all.

Opting out
(p)  The Research Board shall restrict the number of licenses granted for Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facilities within the state of Missouri to a total of not less than fifty (50) licenses. Upon the written request of a local government to the Research Board for an exception to increase the specific number of available licenses within that local government. above the restriction. such exception for a specific number of licenses may be granted by the Research Board for such licenses. Alternatively, upon the written request of local government for an exception to exclude local government from Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facilities. the Research Board may provide such a requesting local government a five (5) year exclusion. which thereafter may be reconsidered by the Research Board for renewal every five (5) years if the local government has placed the matter to a vote of the local government population and such vote resulted in a majority vote for a continued ban upon infused/extraction products facilities.
This allows individual communities to “opt-out” or ban ALL THINGS CONCENTRATE.  Similar “restriction” lines follow in (q) and  (r) for dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
Of course, when it comes to concentrate, you understand that Cannabis oil is the primary product used for treating cancer.  Cannabis oil is considered a concentrate.  Why would the writer allow communities to ban the production of the one product that is MOST therapeutic in treating terminal illness?

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(s)  The initial nine members of the Research Board shall have their compensation set as the annual salary received by the Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice. Thereafter. for new members of the Board, the compensation shall be an amount agreed upon by at least one half of the Research Board, and approved by the Governor, but not less than the annual salary received by the Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice. Upon further years of service, the compensation shall be increased every three years by the greater of a cost of living increase based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI). or successor index as published by the U.S. Board of Labor or its successor agency, or at a raised amount agreed upon unanimously by the Research Board and approved by the Governor.

(t)  A nonpartisan scientific nominating committee. hereafter nonpartisan commission, of five (5) individuals shall review applications. interview candidates and for each vacancy in the Research Board and shall select a panel of four (4) individuals from which the Research Chairperson shall appoint as member(s) of the Research Board. The five individuals on the nonpartisan commission members shall be elected from the combined pool of licensed Missouri physicians and pharmacists as set out in this subsection (t). Residents of the State of Missouri who are licensed Missouri physicians or licensed Missouri pharmacists and living in the State of Missouri at least six (6) months over the twelve ( 12) months before the election in this subsection (t) shall elect a grand total of five individuals from the combined pool of licensed Missouri physicians and pharmacists to serve as members of said nonpartisan commission. Each member shall serve four (4) year terms except that from the initial election of members of the nonpartisan commission. the three (3) with the lowest number of votes shall be elected to two (2) year terms. and the other two (2) members which shall be elected to a four (4) year term, and the members of the nonpartisan commission shall select one of their number to serve as chairperson. No member of the nonpartisan commission shall hold any public office and no member shall hold any official position in a political party. The nonpartisan commission may act only by the concurrence of a majority of its members. The members of such nonpartisan commission shall receive a salary equal to that of an elected state senator as compensation for their services and they shall receive their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred while actually engaged in the discharge of their official duties. Except as provided otherwise in this Article XIV, any and all such nonpartisan commissions shall be governed. and all nonpartisan commission elections provided for under this section shall be held by. and regulated under. such rules as a panel of three retired Missouri judges appointed by the Research Chairperson. or Article XIV Coordinator prior to the Research Chairperson. shall promulgate. Said rules shall be presented to the Research Chairperson who shall file such rules with the secretary of state on behalf of the Research Board within twenty-one (21) days of receiving them from the three judge panel. The three judge panel shall be compensated the standard rate of retired senior iudges paid out of the General Purpose Account during the weeks in which they perform work. Pending selection and appointment that will fill the Research Board. the Article XIV Coordinator shall appoint four (4) temporary acting members and the Governor shall appoint four (4) temporary acting members who together with the Article XIV Coordinator shall be the “then existing Research Board” and shall have the power and duties of the Research Board until such member positions are otherwise filled pursuant to this Article. Those temporary members shall serve at the same rate as Research Board members so long as there are funds available. If no funds are immediately available. the members may serve with deferred compensation until funds are available and when funds become available the members shall be paid for time served from appointment. and for their reasonable expenses incurred to effectuate their duties.
(u)  Applications for vacancies in the Research Board are permitted by any licensed physician or licensed pharmacist residing in the State of Missouri for at least three years prior to their application who also holds a PhD in Biology. Chemistry. Biochemistry. Physics. Genetics. Anatomy, Biomedical Engineering. Neuroscience. a Juris Degree. or equivalent degree who may submit an application to the nonpartisan commission for consideration. Additionally, any citizen of the United States. or Nobel Laureate in the field of medicine or science with permanent residence in the United States. who also holds a PhD in Biology, Chemistry. Biochemistry. Physics. Genetics. Anatomy. Biomedical  Neuroscience. a Juris Degree, or equivalent degree, from an accredited university that has been in existence at least fifty (50) years, upon nomination of a Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Missouri — Columbia. Kansas City, St. Louis, St. Louis University, or Washington University in St. Louis, or upon nomination of a member of the Missouri State Senate may submit their application to the nonpartisan commission for consideration.
Applicants will be picked from a very select group of VERY educated physicians – all from Missouri.  Can we expect that their knowledge level will be greater than the average Missouri Cannabis user?  One thing’s for sure, they will be well compensated. 

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Section 4. Licensure, Taxation and Reporting.

(a)  A cultivation tax is hereby imposed on each wholesale sale in Missouri by a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility and Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility to a Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility, and a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility and Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility, at a rate for marijuana flowers of nine dollars and twenty five cents ($9.25) per dry-weight ounce and the tax rate for marijuana leaves shall be set at two dollars and seventy five cents ($2.75) per dry-weight ounce with such rate to be increased or decreased each year by the percentage of increase or decrease of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). or successor index as published by the U.S. Board of Labor or its successor agency.
This is a WHOLESALE tax on Cannabis sold to dispensaries.

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(b)  A tax is hereby imposed on each retail sale in Missouri of Marijuana and Marijuana Infused/Extraction products by a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility at a rate of fifteen percent (15%) of the purchase price paid or charged. or in case such sale involves the exchange of property, to fifteen percent (15%) of the consideration paid or charged. including the fair market value of the property exchanged at the time and place of the exchange.

i.  The tax must be collected by the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility and paid to the Department of Revenue within thirty (30) days of the retail sale.

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a.  A yearly Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility license to grow marijuana. Each such license shall be valid for growing marijuana in up to twenty thousand (20,000) square feet of plant canopy. Each such license shall be taxed at an initial rate of $25,000 for the first year per license (which must be by money order, cashier’s check, or other means as determined by the Research Board and accompany the application and will be returned if the application is unsuccessful) and then annually at $15,000 per license upon renewal: or
Cultivation Facilities (up to 20,000 sq.ft.) will be required to pay $25,000 in tax the first year, and $15,000 thereafter.

b.  A yearly Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility license to grow marijuana. Each such license shall be valid for growing marijuana in up to two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of plant canopy. Each such license shall be taxed at an initial rate of $10,000 for the first year per license (which must be by money order, cashier’s check, or other means as determined by the Research Board and accompany the application and will be returned if the application is unsuccessful) and then annually at $5,000 per license upon renewal.
Research Cultivation Facilities (up to 2,500 sq.ft.) will be required to pay $10,000 in tax the first year, and $5,000 thereafter.

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d.  No more than three Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility licenses shall be issued to or possessed by any individual, group of individuals, or entity(s) under substantially common control, ownership, or management, whether directly, indirectly or by derivative.
e.  No more than five Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility licenses shall be issued to or possessed by any individual, group of individuals, or entity(s) under substantially common control, ownership, or management, whether directly, indirectly or by derivative.

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iii.  Marijuana  must be grown indoors in an enclosed, locked facility: a room, warehouse or greenhouse or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by authorized personnel, meeting the Research Board standards and industry standards for safety and safe use of electricity.
Requiring ONLY indoor cultivation greatly limits patient’s ability to grow, since most people rent and most leases oppose cannabis consumption, let alone cultivation.

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i.  No more than five (5) Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility licenses shall be issued to or possessed by any one individual. group of individuals. or entity(s) under substantially common control. ownership, or management, whether directly, indirectly or by derivative, nor shall such one individual, group of individuals, or entity ever possess more than fifty percent (50%) of the licenses for a given county or city not within a county.

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i.  No more than five (5) Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility licenses shall be issued to or possessed by any one individual. group of individuals. or entity(s) under substantially common control, ownership. or management. whether directly. indirectly or by derivative. nor shall such one individual, group of individuals. or entity ever possess more than fifty percent (50%) of the licenses for a given county or city not within a county.
Do you see how this could be problematic for patients living in very sparse communities? What if they only have one dispensary in a given community?

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Patient Fees
(f)  A qualifying patient must obtain annually a qualifying patient identification card from the Research Board and shall be taxed at an annual rate of $100 per issuance. with such rate to be increased or decreased each year by the percentage of increase or decrease of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). or successor index as published by the U.S. Board of Labor or its successor agency. Upon application for a qualifying patient identification card, the Research Board must. within thirty (30) days. provide either the card or a written explanation for its denial of the card. It shall not be grounds for denial that use of medical marijuana is not approved under federal law.
(g)  A designated primary caregiver must obtain annually a designated primary caregiver identification card from the Research Board for each designated qualifying patient and shall be taxed at an annual rate of $100 per issuance, with such rate to be increased or decreased each year by the percentage of increase or decrease of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). or successor index as published by the U.S. Board of Labor or its successor agency. Upon application for a designated primary caregiver identification card, the Research Board must within thirty (30) days provide either the card or a written explanation for its denial of the card. It shall not be grounds for denial that use of medical marijuana is not approved under federal law.
Patients pay a tax of $100 per year.  It isn’t clear if the caregiver tax is in addition or not.

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Section 5. Trust Fund

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(c)  Monies deposited in the fund shall include but are not limited to the designated funds received from sections 4. 5 and 10 of Article XIV. money transferred from the Research Board and any other amounts which may be received from grants. gifts. devises. bequests. contributions. donations. and money from contracts. from the state or federal government. derivative of intellectual property rights. or any other source. Monies in the fund shall be used solely for the purposes established by this Article X IV.
Monies deposited into the General Purpose Account shall be used for research, presently incurable diseases, targeted diseases. building and construction. the campus, cures, endeavors. jobs. payment and compensation for iobs. administrative expenses. and education in Missouri pursuant to the performed pursuant to this Article XIV. Up to 10% of the annual General Purpose Account may be allocated by the Board to various universities in the State of Missouri with accredited medical or pharmacy schools. or currently existing at the time of passage of this Article XIV independently accredited medical or pharmacy schools within the State of Missouri. for collaborative efforts pursuant to section 10 of Article XIV. and to the development of secondary campuses in Missouri at these in-state universities with accredited medical schools and pharmacy schools. plus up to a further 5% annually maybe allocated for research purposes to various such universities who have developed. or have in the past 12 months before passage of this Article XIV been actively taking steps to develop. including but not limited to providing classes that will count as credit for. graduate programs in biomedical engineering and neuroscience. Additionally. up to 10% more of the General Purpose Account may be allocated by the Research Board to various joint collaborative in-Missouri/non-Missouri research efforts pursuant to section 10 of Article XIV. and up to 2% more of the General Purpose Account may be allocated by the Research Board as grants to Missouri local law enforcement agencies to assist with costs associated with medical marijuana law enforcement and safety.
That’s right. Law enforcement will get their cut of the imaginary pie.

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Section 6. Land Acquisition.

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(h)  The question presented to voters pursuant to Section 6. subsection (f) shall be in the following format:

Shall a campus for research. development, building and construction. jobs. cures and education in Missouri for endeavors to find cures for incurable diseases and all that entails under Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution. be built on the proposed campus development site that includes the county in which I live and will result in land. in and around the vicinity set forth on the Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute Map below. being and/or purchased from the landowners:
The amount to be acquired shall be a minimum of one square mile of contiguous property, but otherwise limited only by purchasing funds to a maximum of thirty six contiguous square miles.
Wow… NINE square miles!

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Section 7. Immunities

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(e)  A physician shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Missouri law or discipline by the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. or other agency. for issuing a physician certification or recommending the use of Medical Marijuana to a person diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition in a manner consistent with this Article.
(f)  A health care provider. including but not limited to any pharmacist. shall not be subject to professional discipline. or to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Missouri law. for providing health care services that involve the medical use of marijuana consistent with this Article.
From what I understand, physicians and health care providers throughout the country have been protected in this regard since a court ruling in 2004. For six years prior to my moving to Colorado, I openly spoke with my doctors about my medicinal Cannabis use and they condoned it.  …All of which should be protected by HIPAA laws.

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(i)  There shall be no immunities for negligence, either common law or statutorily created, nor criminal immunities for operating a vehicle. aircraft. dangerous device. or navigating a boat, under the influence of marijuana and except as specifically set out in this Article the use of marijuana shall not be a defense to an civil liability or criminal activity.
There was no reason for this post short of a threat to patients.  Civil liability and criminal activity are already punishable by current law.

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(l)  No patient shall be denied access to medical care or priority for an organ transplant because they hold a qualifying patient identification card or use marijuana for medical use.
…taken straight from MY earlier initiatives.  Imitation is in fact the sincerest form of flattery…except when one’s words are tied to such a divisive mess as this.

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Section 8. Legislation.

(a)  Nothing in this Article shall limit the legislature from enacting laws consistent with this Article. or otherwise effectuating this Article, but the legislature shall not be allowed to enact laws to hinder the effectiveness of this Article or otherwise alter this Article. Except as specifically provided in this Article, nothing in this Article shall limit the authority_ of a municipality or county under its land planning and zoning regulations to restrict the location, but not the number of or presence in a municipality or county of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities, Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities or Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facilities.
Here again, the language is confusing and contradicts itself.  In other sections, lawmakers are given almost complete authority to edit and augment at will.

(b)  No elected official shall interfere directly or indirectly with the Research Board’s obligations and activities under this Article XIV.
Again, a contradiction.

Section 9. Limitations and Other Provisions.

(a)  Nothing in this Article permits a person to:

i.  Undertake any task under the influence of marijuana when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice: or
ii. Operate. navigate. or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle. aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana: or
So you can be “under the influence of prescription drugs – toxins, but not Cannabis – nontoxic.  Cannabis remains in your system for days, possibly even weeks after any euphoria subsides.  Patients with severe chronic and terminal illness experience little or no euphoria because their bodies adjust to it.  Forcing them to quit driving very well means quitting their job.  This would be devastating to patients and their families.  Why does the author of this initiative insist on treating sick people like drug addicts?  

iii. Bring a claim against any employer, former employer or prospective employer for wrongful discharge, discrimination or any similar cause of action or remedy, based on the employer, former employer or prospective employer prohibiting the employee, former employee or prospective employee from being under the influence of marijuana while at work or disciplining the employer or former employee, up to and including termination from employment. for working or attempting to work while under the influence of marijuana: or
But it IS discrimination.  This would condemn most Cannabis patients to poverty.  Why is it that employees cannot be judged by merit or lack there of, NOT their choice of medicine?

iv.  Consume, smoke, or use marijuana in a jail, prison, or other correctional facility; or
v.  Consume. smoke. or use marijuana in a drug rehabilitation facility: or
So the Missouri’s chronically must suffer… and it’s terminally ill, well I guess they’ll just have to die if they find themselves in jail. Aren’t you glad we’re not talking about insulin?

vi: Consume. smoke. or use marijuana in a hospital or medical facility without a hospital or facility’s consent or
I’m confused.  This is a “MEDICAL” initiative, isn’t it?

vii. Consume, smoke or use marijuana in a public place, including specifically, but not limited to, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities, businesses, airports, bus stations, trains, casinos, government buildings, churches, synagogues or mosques: or
Again, aren’t you glad we’re not talking about insulin.  The only place patients will be allowed to consume their Cannabis medicine is at home.  If they rent, probably not even there.  So the only patients that can consume Cannabis are “shut-ins” who own their own home?

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(c)  No Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility. Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility, Medical Mariiuana Dispensary Facility or Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility shall be owned. in whole or in part, or have as an officer. director. board member. manager or employee. any individual who has been convicted of a felony. However. the Research Board may on a case by case basis find an exception based upon letters of recommendation and proof of rehabilitation by community service and lack of subsequent convictions if:
I never understood why someone who paid their debt to society must continue to be discriminated against even after they have done their time.  Kind of defeats the whole idea of incarceration.

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(g)  All edible marijuana-infused product must be sold in individual child-resistant re-closeable containers that are labeled with dosage amounts. instructions for use. and estimated length of effectiveness. All marijuana and marijuana-infused products must be sold in containers clearly and consciously labeled, in a font size at least as large as the largest other font size used on the package, as containing “Marijuana.” or a “Marijuana Infused/extraction Product.” The product itself must additionally be imprinted with the conspicuous lettering “THC”, when practicable. A label of at least 12 point bold font must be used alerting patients if processed or packed with nuts or allergens. or in a facility where nuts or other allergens are processed or used.
It’s apparent that the author is ignorant to the fact that Cannabis is NONTOXIC.

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(i)  It shall be the responsibility of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility. Medical Marijuana Research, Cultivation Facility. Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility and Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Facility to provide each subsequent person or entity in the stream of commerce a listing of all substances used in the growth and processing of marijuana. other than soil, water, and seed. All Marijuana sold for approved methods. in addition to other labels required by this Article XIV. subject to modification by the Research Board, shall be labeled or include the föllowing information on package inserts. in at least 8 point type;
i.  “GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS MARIJUANA A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. MARIJUANA MAY ONLY BE CONSUMED BY A QUALIFYING PATIENT WITH A QUALIFYING PATIENT IDENTIFICATION CARD. MARIJUANA USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF MARIJUANA IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. DO NOT USE WHEN OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE OR DANGEROUS MACHINERY. THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF INGESTED MARIJUANA PRODUCTS MAY BE DELAYED UP TO TWO HOURS.”
Unfortunately, this is something I have seen in a number of states, particularly here in Colorado – incorrect and deceptive statements, crammed down the throats of a state’s seriously ill.  Cannabis is NOT TOXIC.  What’s more, science has proven that Cannabis presents NO HARM to unborn children.

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(l)  No new license shall be granted to any Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility. Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility. Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility or Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facility that is located within one thousand feet of any then-existing school. group day care home. child day care center. church. synagogue or mosque.
Why??? We’re talking about MEDICAL facilities. Again, playing into the hands of the bigoted and uninformed.

(m)  A physician:
i.  shall not issue physician certifications for the use of medical marijuana exceeding twenty five percent (25%) of the number of prescriptions written by that physician in the same calendar year: and
ii. shall not have an income from treating qualifying patients with primarily medical marijuana exceeding twenty five percent (25%) of the physician’s gross income.
Why?  Why are physicians not allowed to specialize in Cannabis therapy?

(n)  It is the public policy of the state of Missouri that contracts related to marijuana for medical use that are entered into by Qualifying Patients. Designated Primary Caregivers. Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities. Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facilities. Medical Marijuana-Infüsed/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facilities. or Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities and those who allow property to be used by those entities. should be enforceable. It is the public policy of the state of Missouri that no contract entered into by Qualifying Patients. Designated Primary Caregivers. Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation Facility: Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities. Medical Marijuana-Infused/Extraction Products Manufacturing Facilities, or Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities. or by a person who allows property to be used for activities that are exempt from state criminal penalties by this Article XIV. shall be unenforceable on the basis that activities related to medical marijuana may be prohibited by federal law.

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(p)  Real and personal property used in the cultivation. manufacture. transport. testing. distribution. sale. and administration of marijuana for medical use or for activities otherwise in compliance with this Alticle XIV shall not be subject to asset forfeiture solely because of that use.
Another line taken from my earlier writings..

(q)  The Research Board may require Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility to have on call during all operating hours an individual licensed in Missouri to the practice of pharmacy as defined in Chapter 338 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri who is available for on-site or telephone consultation within thirty (30) minutes.
Why??

Section 10. Public-Private Collaborative Ventures.

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b)  1/4 of this 25% for the exclusive purpose of funding public pre-school programs. public elementary and secondary school programs. and to provide grants to in-state Missouri students to attend state institutions of higher education governed at the time of the enactment of this Article XIV by sections of 174.020 to 174.500 Revised Statutes of Missouri and chapter 172 Revised Statutes of Missouri., and
c) 1/4 of this 25% for the exclusive purpose of funding medical care for Missouri residents:
d) 1/4 of this 25% to fund Missouri public employee retirement trust funds: and
iii.  Twenty-five percent (25%) to be refunded to Missouri state income tax paying citizens. refunded equally to all citizens of Missouri who have paid state income taxes of more than five hundred dollars ($500) or more in the year prior to the payments being received by the Research Board pursuant to this section 10. up to the total amount of state income tax paid by such Missouri citizen in that year. Any residual amounts above and beyond the tax refund shall be paid equally to all Missouri state income tax paying Missouri residents. The refund check to Missouri citizens shall clearly state “Research Board Tax Refund”.
Even though this is supposed to be a medical Cannabis program, NONE of the revenue collected in fees and taxes from medical Cannabis patients will actually benefit medical Cannabis patients.  Why?

* * * * * * *

My summary:

If you haven’t already abandoned your reading in disgust, I would be surprised.  Where do I begin?  This initiative is not just problematic, it’s an effrontery to all medical Cannabis patients – to every Missourian suffering from chronic or terminal illness.  It seeks to create a privatized dispensary industry and research facility whose purpose really is only to glorify it’s creator and those who support him.  Every Missourian needs to take a long, hard look at EVERYONE involved in pushing this initiative and ones like it.

Cannabis initiatives SHOULD be created to protect and comfort the ones for whom its ACTUALLY designed and not just to capitalize on them, or use them as pawns toward other personal agendas. Cannabis patients are no different than anyone else who suffers and should not be discriminated against or marginalized by the state from which they reside.  This document is just another form of bigotry and does not deserve a place in Missouri law.

If this initiative, Amendment No. 2 or the Statutory Amendment – Proposition C, actually makes it into Missouri’s statutes or Constitution, I will do my best to provide yet another REAL legalization initiative for 2020 that will bring justice and freedom to Missouri’s Cannabis patients.  That is really all that I can do – I can write.  The rest is up to you. 

Please, READ ALL OF THE INITIATIVES ON THE BALLOT CAREFULLY before you vote for ANY OF THESE…and DECIDE WISELY.  Your children, and generations to come will be effected profoundly by your actions.

Mark Pedersen
markpedersen.cpn@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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