Under current Missouri law, anybody with a terminal illness may use unconventional medications, products or devices after exploring all FDA approved treatment options. This is a result of the Right to Try law, which passed in 2014.
The only treatments patients can't use are "schedule 1" drugs, which in accordance with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, are substances with no accepted medical use and higher potential for abuse. This includes marijuana.
Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, the host of the original "Right to Try" law, introduced a revised version of that law which allows patients to use medical marijuana despite its own "schedule one" classification.
"When we passed the "Right to Try," here in 2014 we excluded this place, so I am bringing it back up and including medical marijuana at the right now. That is all it is, a growth of this laws that we approved of in 2014," Neely explained.
Many who spoke in support of this bill did not believe it went far enough and wanted to grant those with non-terminal illnesses, like veterans with PTSD, the right to use medical marijuana too. One of those who talked to this measure was Kyle Kisner, who served in the Missouri Guard for seven decades.
"We need to expand the language of the bill to allow individuals with debilitating conditions such as PTSD, chronic depression, sleeplessness. You could categorize those as terminal, so I probably would," Kisner said.
Cozad pointed into the federal laws criminalizing the use of marijuana and stated passing a law allowing medicinal use of cannabis would lead to legal confusion.
"The legislation is supposed to be certain. Uncertainty in the law, especially criminal law, is something you attempt to prevent," Cozad explained.
Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Kansas City, brought to attention other states who have already passed legislation allowing medicinal marijuana use.
"I don't see the mass confusion occurring, so I am not certain why we would anticipate having a different experience if we were to go down this path in Missouri," Carpenter explained.