Dueling Medical-Marijuana Initiatives in Missouri
For nearly 20 years, Missouri residents have publicly debated the topic of medical cannabis more than any other state while passing no significant reform for patients.
However, in August, not one or two but three different marijuana initiatives were approved for the Nov. 6 ballot. The three are backed by New Approach Missouri, Missourians for Patient Care and Springfield lawyer/physician Brad Bradshaw, under the name Find a Cure. Both New Approach and Bradshaw have proposed constitutional amendments. Patient Care’s is a statutory amendment.
Only New Approach’s would allow for home growing (six plants), which is probably good enough reason to vote for it. Ten conditions, from cancer to PTSD, would be covered by the measure, dubbed Amendment 2. The possession limit is four ounces.
Missouri’s Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who’s up for reelection, has endorsed Amendment 2, as well as NORML. “Of the three, NORML believes that Amendment 2 is written in a manner that best provides for the needs of patients and their physicians, and is the measure most likely to withstand scrutiny from lawmakers,” NORML stated on Sept. 5.
NORML: “Amendment 2 is written in a manner that best provides for the needs of patients and their physicians.”
While Amendment 2 calls for a 4% tax on sales and the Patient Care (Amendment 3) measure suggests half of that, Find a Cure (Prop C) would be the costliest to patients with a 15% rate. If the two constitutional amendments both pass, the top vote-getter would become law. If neither of the constitutional ballot initiatives pass and Patient Care’s does, then, unlike the constitutional reform efforts, Patient Care’s winning effort could be largely mollified by Missouri’s Republican state legislature. Read the ballot summaries here.
Bradshaw’s attempt to knock Amendment 2 off the ballot failed. On Aug. 31, a judge in Jefferson City dismissed his suit, which suggested that some of the signatures submitted to the Secretary of State by New Approach and Patient Care were fraudulently gathered. However, a suit against Patient Care is ongoing.
“With the dismissal of attorney Brad Bradshaw’s frivolous lawsuit, Missourians will have the opportunity to vote for Amendment 2 and make Missouri the 31st state that allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating illnesses,” New Approach’s Jack Cardetti stated. “Amendment 2 is supported by a true coalition of patients, veterans and health care providers who believe doctors and their patients should be put back in charge of medical treatment options. Our patient and veteran-centered approach stands in stark contrast to Amendment 3 and Brad Bradshaw, who is a coalition of one that is in this strictly for himself. This victory means Missouri can now move this important medical issue forward on behalf of Missouri patients and veterans.”
NEW APPROACH MISSOURI: “Our patient and veteran-centered approach stands in stark contrast to Amendment 3 and Brad Bradshaw, who is a coalition of one that is in this strictly for himself.”
Bradshaw’s attorney James Meadows has appealed Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce’s ruling, maintaining that “thousands of individuals signed the (initiative petition) signature pages while not in the presence of the circulator (as required by state law) and that signatures were not by registered voters.”
In her decision, Joyce opined: “The Missouri Supreme Court has already ruled that once the signatures have been submitted to the Secretary of State and verified by local election authorities the only relevant issue at this point is whether the signatures are those of registered voters, not whether each signature was collected in complete compliance with statutory requirements.”
Bradshaw is particularly litigious. He’s a member the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is for lawyers “who’ve won million and multi-million dollar verdicts, awards and settlements,” according to his website. Bradshaw’s personal injury and medical malpractice settlements range from $12 million to $100,000. He attended University of Missouri School of Law as well as the University’s School of Medicine, and has licenses to practice medicine in both Missouri and Hawaii.
Also on the Nov. 6 Ballot
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