By Derrick Stanley
Voters in Missouri have contributed enough signatures to put an initiative to legalize medical marijuana on the November ballot.
The signatures still have to be validated, but the group that pushed for the initiative, New Approach Missouri, reported that they just turned in nearly 250,000 signatures. 167,000 signatures is the number required to get the initiative on the ballot.
“We [turned in] signatures on Sunday to place this important issue before voters in November, said Jack Cardetti, a consultant for the group. "This issue has a ton of support throughout Missouri. It’s popular in part because it starts to put people and their doctors in charge of the decision making process.”
Missouri lawmakers have considered legalizing medical marijuana without the input of voters. Just last month the Missouri House of Representatives killed a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana in the state, but only for end-of-life cancer patients already in hospice. Cardetti believes that bill failed because it was so restrictive.
“Our approach potentially benefits more patients. It allows those living with illnesses to be able to go to their doctor and their doctor determine a viable treatment option,” he said.