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Physician Organizations Cite Lack of Research and Public Health Risk

Three proposals will go before Missouri voters on the November 6, 2018 ballot to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Each of the three proposals would establish regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana dispensary, cultivation, testing and marijuana-infused product manufacturing. Each would impose a tax on the retail sale of marijuana and license fees for marijuana-related facilities.

Here is how the three proposals differ:
  • Constitutional Amendment 2 would impose a 4% tax on retail sales that would be used by the Missouri Veterans Commission for health and care for military veterans, minus program administrative costs.
  • Proposition C would impose a 2% tax on retail sales that would be used for veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety, minus administrative costs.
  • Constitutional Amendment 3 would impose a 15% tax on retail sales along with a wholesale tax. Funds generated by the taxes and license fees would fund a newly created research institute which would regulate and license marijuana facilities. It also would conduct research toward developing cures for cancer and other diseases. Springfield, Mo., attorney and physician Brad Bradshaw would be the head of the institute.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Association, the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons and other state and local medical societies have gone on record as opposing the three proposals. In its statement, SLMMS “opposes such measures until a) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassifies marijuana to allow for increased scientific research; b) Extensive research studies demonstrating health benefits have been completed; and c) Necessary changes are made to federal laws permitting the use of marijuana. Until there is evidence supporting its effectiveness as a drug, SLMMS feels the potential for abuse outweighs any perceived medical benefits.”

More Information
American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs Report: Clinical Implications and Policy Considerations of Cannabis Use, May 2017
National Academies Report, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, January 2017.
 

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