Inhale to the Chief

Missouri could join roughly a dozen states that allow doctors to authorize patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.

Last week State Representative Kate Meiners (D-Kansas City) introduced House Bill 277 that would change Missouri laws regarding the classification of marijuana as a controlled substance and legalize its use for medical purposes.

In a press release Meiners notes that president-elect Barack Obama has pledged to stop the Bush administration's "persecution and prosecution" of patients using marijuana pursuant to state laws. "This will effectively eliminate the alleged 'conflict' between federal and state law," Meiners' statement reads.  

Meiners claims her bill is modeled after similar legislation passed in 13 other states. If approved by the House and Senate, the bill would be placed before Missouri voters in the November 2010 election.

According to Meiners, in August 2007 a scientfically-sampled poll of Missouri voters found that 57 percent of those who cast ballots statewide support legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.