If polling data is correct, there is a good chance that Missouri voters will approve one or more of the three medical marijuana proposals on the November ballot.
While each of the three proposals differ in their approach, they all would legalize growing, manufacturing, selling and consuming marijuana for medicinal purposes, making our state the 32nd in the nation to sanction medical marijuana.
Nine states have gone further, legalizing the recreational use of pot, and there is little doubt that number will continue to climb. That’s due in large part because public perception about marijuana has shifted toward widespread acceptance with the majority of Americans now expressing support for legalization for medicinal purposes and recreational use.
But not every segment of society has embraced marijuana with gusto. For instance, and perhaps most telling, the medical community is still wary of marijuana. In fact, the overwhelming majority of medical associations oppose the medical marijuana ballot proposals. That’s true here and across the country.
The Missouri State Medical Association and a number of other state medical associations oppose the three ballot questions on the November ballot. The American Medical Association (AMA), which has backed away from a strict policy of opposing legalization in all forms, still maintains that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.”
More specifically, the AMA has stated that its policy should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription product.
While more doctors are prescribing medical marijuana, the medical community, by and large, is still suspicious of the drug and favors more cannabinoid research. The reality is that numerous health studies have identified negative health effects associated with medical marijuana.
Moreover, as the Missouri State Medical Association has pointed out, there is a laundry list of negative consequences that have occurred in other states that have approved medical marijuana. Among them are the fact that health care has not improved and numerous problems have developed in schools and education, law enforcement and in the judicial system.
Also, automobile and industrial accidents while under the influence of marijuana have increased and so has the increased demands on emergency rooms and hospitals due to toxicity and accidental ingestion, and diversion for nonmedical uses.
There hasn’t been a lot of media attention on these negative consequences, but we feel voters should consider them before they cast a vote in favor of one of the three medical marijuana ballot measures.