Home » Featured »Missouri »Sunday Poll » Currently Reading:

Sunday Poll: Support or Oppose Medical Marijuana in Missouri?

April 17, 2016 Featured, Missouri, Sunday Poll 27 Comments
Please vote below
Please vote below

Efforts are currently underway to gather enough signatures to place an item on a 2016 ballot to set up a legal medical marijuana industry in Missouri, the signature deadline is next month. Though just under half the states have medical cannabis programs, it remains controversial.

Hence, today’s poll:

The poll will remain open until 8pm tonight. Share your thoughts in the comments below and come back on Wednesday for a new post with my thoughts and the non-0scienmtific results.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "27 comments" on this Article:

    • Justin says:

      One thing to consider is that if Marijuana were legal teens may have more difficulty acquiring it. For instance, I know that some friends of mine in high school had a much easier time buying marijuana than getting their hands on alcohol which can be purchased at stores everywhere because they needed to find some 21 years of age to purchase it. Additionally it would be less likely to lead to the use of other drugs because the people they are getting from won’t also be selling dope or coke. By bringing it into the legal realm you remove a lot of negative things that may go along with marijuana use. Lastly, its not like it being illegal has stopped abuse of the drug, perhaps legalization is appropriate especially given the fact that legal alcohol use doesn’t have seem to have a considerable negative effect and alcohol is a much more dangerous drug.

      • Mark-AL says:

        It just seems to me that legalizing marijuana use is another game of Russian Roulette. I have no experience with the drug, but before moving to Germany, my wife worked as a pediatrician and later as a pediatric heart specialist in LA and St Louis, and her practice was geared mostly toward 12 to 18 year olds. (Due to a language barrier, she works temporarily in emergency trauma treatment in Germany, but as she’s gradually picking up the language, her opinions about marijuana use in Europe, or anywhere else, haven’t changed.) Based on her experience with patients whose exposure to Marijuana was considered “significant”, she observes the following in her YOUNG patients:
        1) Potential breathing problems. Marijuana irritates the lungs, just as tobacco smoke does, leading to higher risk of lung illness and lung infections–although there is no current link to lung cancer.
        2) Increased heart rate among users–which can create all sorts of problems
        3)Problems with child development during and after pregnancy, potentially leading to increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems with babies.
        4) Mental Illness:
        a)temporary hallucinations
        b)temporary paranoia
        c)worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia
        d)depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts–especially in teens but also in adults

        These are HER opinions based on HER experience, but you’ll obviously find scores of authorities who will deny the legitimacy of HER empirically-derived theories. Her experience was with children, But there is no evidence to suggest that use of the drug among adults is significantly different. Why would we want to legalize a drug that is so potentially harmful to our citizens?

        Your comment about teen acquisition if marijuana were legalized seems valid to me, but I wonder what increased health risk will affect the adult user-population in the meantime and the potential risk to innocent bystanders whose well-being might be jeopardized in an everyday encounter (minor verbal altercation, road sharing, child care) with someone under the influence.

        • Justin says:

          While there are certainly health considerations to be that need to be kept in mind when considering legalization. I would argue that most people probably would not experience these health risks and just because people who use marijuana see adverse health effects this does not necessarily mean that it is the only cause or a cause at all (e.g., many of these people are probably already at risk for mental illness and it is exacerbated by drug use).

          Furthermore, while your wife’s observations are certainly empirical they are probably not a representative sample of the population because she only sees those that are seeking treatment for some sort of health problem, but has no interaction with many more people who use marijuana regularly and see little negative impact on their health. Additionally, your wife’s observation and likely not systematic enough to prevent the kind of biases that most human observations are subject to. As a doctoral student in psychology (I don’t study mental illness), I know that research has consistently demonstrated that people tend to accept the facts that fit in with their existing beliefs, but are less willing to accept facts that contrast with their beliefs particularly when beliefs are strongly held. Both of these reasons can explain why your wife’s opinions on this matter differ from the authorities’ opinions you mention.

          I think considering the potential risk, the status-quo seems more risky than taking a chance on legalization. Particularly given that many legal substances are much more dangerous (i.e., Alcohol and Tobacco) and no body is advocating for the prohibition of those things. Additionally, a lot of government money is spent enforcing laws against marijuana without achieving much of anything. Furthermore dependence on marijuana is much less likely for users than dependence on alcohol or nicotine

          To your point about the impact on innocent bystanders, I believe that just as most adults use alcohol responsibly, most adults will also use marijuana responsibly. Such encounters will likely be no more common than encounters with people who are drunk today.

          Lastly, how many people will begin using marijuana just because its legal? I imagine most people who will begin using it, already used when it was illegal.

          • Mark-AL says:

            You’re right that my wife’s observations are based on her work exposure. We don’t knowingly associate with friends who use marijuana, for obvious reasons, mainly because our circle of friends’ lives revolve around family life and childraising. And when that’s the case, there are few financial resources left over at the end of the month, after tuition, books and activities fees are paid, outgrown hockey skates are purchased, orchestra trips and music lessons are paid for, outgrown clothing is replaced, etc,etc, etc. On top of that, responsible people have to make the house payment, put food on the table, and keep the cars running….and filled with gas. I could fill the page! So could you, probably. These are things all responsible parents/people do. Marijuana isn’t typically among those things, without sacrificing elsewhere. It blocks a person’s ability to get high on himself (on his personal successes, , other-centered contributions to his family, his honest relationships with family and friends, etc) and instead he justs gets “high” and out of touch. Maybe not every day of his life, but certainly while indulging. I can’t imagine what my reaction when I was a kid would have been, walking into our living room after a school activity and encountering my parents sitting around smoking joints. More than that, I can’t imagine the embarrassment and self-disappointment I would feel today if my kids walked in on me with a joint in my mouth—-especially if I denied my son a trip to visit a potential college because family finances were a bit tight at the time! We’re striving for a more responsible, more productive, more family-oriented society, aren’t we? How does use of non-MM marijuana fit into that plan–potentially?

            We all know that alcohol intoxication begins with the first drink….which explains the “Don’t drink and drive” slogan. The slogan isn’t “Don’t get drunk and drive”–and for good reason. And the truth is that a driver can be considered “impaired” and he can be arrested even if his BAC is under 0.08%. Will similar restrictions be placed on “legal” marijuana smokers?

            Just because we have legalized alcohol consumption, what possible theory of logic allows us to conclude that legalized marijuana should be next? Why not self-administered antibiotics or heroin, or meth? How about some good ol’ homemade opium? Legal opium, that is!

            I think, in many ways, society is going south (and I use that analogy not as a reference to the geographic region I grew up in, but to describe a society that is surely declining and devolving, ceeding and surrendering to the whims and impulses of an emerging selfish society.

          • Justin says:

            Marijuana in your mind may not be compatible with the child raising and I think most would agree with you on that point. What’s interesting to me is that while we have probably all seen parents have a few drinks from time to time and wouldn’t think less them of for it, the same can not be said for many if they were to see their parents take a couple of hits of marijuana. Just because someone smokes a little marijuana suddenly we think they’re irresponsible parents or this behavior is incompatible with raising children. Given that alcohol is MORE addictive than marijuana I think such conclusions are unfair.

            I believe there are tests that can be used to verify whether someone is driving under the influence of marijuana and I would hope if it becomes legal there would be restrictions for driving under the influence. Even though I do not think it is as dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana when compared to alcohol, it still can cause inattentiveness which can be deadly. Thus necessitating such laws.

            I think the legalization of alcohol consumption demonstrates that society is able to handle a more dangerous drug without “society going south”. There is no reason society can’t handle legal marijuana which by all standards (that I can think of) is more safe than alcohol. If people want some marijuana it can be found quite easily even though it is illegal by legalizing it we can better control who is able to get it. Just like prohibition of alcohol was a total failure, the prohibition on marijuana is as well.

            Additionally, to compare the legalization of meth and heroin to that marijuana is a total straw-man. Meth and Heroin cause debilitating withdrawals and are extremely addictive. Have you ever heard of anyone whoring themselves out for marijuana, robbing houses, or becoming homeless just because they spent all their money marijauna? I haven’t, but this probably common place for those who use drugs like meth and heroin. On a side note I am for the decriminalization of possession of these drugs in small amounts.

            People have been forecasting that society is downhill probably since the invention of society and everything is still okay. Just because our values are changing and we don’t hold all the same values as our parents generation doesn’t mean people are more selfish than they have been.

        • You need a history lesson on how we got to this point:

          “During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned its use and sales.

          While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a place holder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation.

          The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance.”
          Source: http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/how-did-marijuana-become-illegal-first-place

          When consumed via edibles or a vaporizer the lungs aren’t bothered at all.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Addiction aside, I wonder how we control a society under the influence of marijuana that needs to interact with the rest of the world, doing everyday things like safely driving a vehicle, safely crossing a street, being responsive to the immediate needs of a family member in an emergency situation, among other responsibilities that we have in life.

            The 1930’s claims were obviously rooted in bigotry, rather than in marijuana use… Otherwise, why weren’t white men suspected of the same behaviors?

            Marijuana cookies and brownies are obviously served at certain parties attended by those who partake, but I wonder if the preferred mode for consuming marijuana is actually smoking it. Even the use of a vaporizer device seems a bit cumbersome. I wonder what percentage of marijuana users regularly use vaporizers and marijuana-tainted brownies vs rolling a joint and lighting up.

            And if smoking is in fact a preferred mode, then maybe there are associated health risks as suggested by health-care professionals like my wife and others, and the severity of those risks will increase as usage continues over time.

            I’m over it. I just hope my life and my safe passage through it aren’t impacted (too much) by people whose judgement is impaired by this mild-altering drug.

            “The talk” that you have today with your kids isn’t just about abstinence but about the dangers to mind and body that drugs pose. This is what responsible parents do, and “the talk” should be reality based.

          • Justin says:

            “I wonder how we control a society under the influence of marijuana that needs to interact with the rest of the world, doing everyday things like safely driving a vehicle, safely crossing a street, being responsive to the immediate needs of a family member in an emergency situation, among other responsibilities that we have in life”

            The same way it is done with a society that is under influence of alcohol. Why are the two so different in your mind?

            People are responsible enough to make many choices without interference from government why can’t the the choice whether to use marijuana or not be one of them?

          • Mark-AL says:

            Frankly, I think we’re losing the war on driving under the influence.


            If marijuana is legalized, we can likely double those numbers. ….and it issue becomes especially significant when one of your own family members is included in the statistic.

          • Justin says:

            Driving while intoxicated on any mind-altering drug is concerning. Currently, police in most areas don’t even test for driving under influence of marijuana, but if marijuana were to gain legal status I would be willing to bet that you would see police testing for this (probably by swabbing one’s mouth). This would be one positive of legalization.

            While I agree with you that there are risks involved with marijuana use just as there are with any drug, even things as innocuous as Tylenol, these risks are outweighed by the benefits of legalization which I list below.

            1. No longer a “Gateway Drug” because people will no longer be purchasing it from dealers who sell other drugs (e.g., Coke, Heroin, Ecstasy). We don’t see a gateway effect with alcohol and if marijuana were moved into the legal realm I think the same could be said for it.

            2. Easier to keep away from minors and young children

            3. No more wasted government money on trying to stop illegal sale of it and increased tax revenue for the government.

            4. No more throwing marijuana users in prison despite their minimal risk to society

            5. Marijuana sales won’t be able to fund terrorism or gangs

            6. Likely better education about it effects and risks. Like we see with alcohol and tobacco.

            7. Increased incentive to enforce law again driving under the influence

            I think we should also look to other countries where marijuana is legal (e.g., Netherlands) and see what negative impacts legalization has had on them. I have not heard of an epidemic of health problems or driving under the influence in the netherlands perhaps its not as risky as you may think.

            Lastly to loop this discussion back into a common topic on this blog. If more people in the US were as enthusiastic about urban living and public transit as Steve Patterson perhaps we would see less driving and more use of transit thus decreasing the concerns of drinking and driving.

            PS. To touch on your point about the lack of knowledge regarding the effects of marijuana, I think there is a lot of research in this domain (there could be more of course) however it has been hampered by government policy (i.e., being schedule I, even cocaine (local anesthetic) and meth (a rare treatment for ADHD) are Schedule II) just take a look at a search on google scholar and you will see there has been quite a bit of research.

          • Mark-AL says:

            All the benefits you list are laudable. They all address other social ills/problems in our society resulting from black market sale of marijuana: terrorism, gangs, DUI, child protection, prison overcrowding, drug dealers, tax reform, etc. Unfortunately, you really don’t address the issue of LEGALIZING a drug that has not undergone stringent testing. And, in my opinion, that issue casts really dark shadows on the several benefits that you listed. Sorry, but I am a true conservative in both my personal life and in my professional life. It ain’t done if it’s half-done or if it’s done half-assed!
            Reducing driving is not the answer to this issue. It takes only one driver under the influence to take out one pedestrian on a given road.

          • Justin says:

            I was not suggesting that reducing driving is the only answer to the issue of driving under the influence however, if our cities were built to be friendly to alternative forms of transportation outside driving and people perceived they had more options than just driving or taking a cab they may choose them over driving particularly if these options are inexpensive like bus or train. While there is no way to stop all people from driving under the influence this would be a step in the right direction.

            Marijuana has been used by Americans for many decades if there were serious ill health effects from this I think they would be quite apparent by this time, but I suppose we will have to agree to disagree on this issue.

          • Mark-AL says:

            The slogan is “Don’t drink and drive”. If marijuana is legalized, will smoking, inhaling or eating it be similarly enforced?

  1. backprop says:

    Other. I’m all for legalizing marijuana. But legalizing medical marijuana just plays into the reasoning that you have to have a reason in order to use it. I don’t believe anyone needs a reason.

    The other issue is that some states’ MM laws are put onto the ballot by people who pay big money to get them there. What’s wrong with that? They write the laws so that they (or the corporations that they form) are the only ones who are allowed to provide MM for the state. They grant themselves a monopoly in return for helping get the bill on the ballot.

    Ohio: Issue 3, as the proposed amendment is known, is bankrolled by wealthy investors spending nearly $25 million to put it on the ballot and sell it to voters. If it passes, they will have exclusive rights to growing commercial marijuana in Ohio.

    These same investors would fight mightily to prevent full legalization. MM would not be a ‘stepping stone’ but rather a dead end.

    End the war and legalize it already. Completely.

    • Good points, the backers of the effort in Missouri are people who wanted to do full legalization. Polling, however, indicated that still doesn’t have enough support to pass. They’ve said they want a “liberal” medical marijuana bill and hope it’ll lead to full legalization in the future.

      There are reasons to have both — those who qualify on medical grounds can avoid steep sales taxes paid by recreational users.

    • Mark-AL says:

      Legalize it completely? Without any restrictions? Would you make it available to your 8 year old son? (If not, why not?) Even if all his friends were using it, and he wanted it reeeeeeeeeeeeal bad?

      You are right about one thing, though, in my opinion. It is a “dead end”….or at least, one can eventually come to a very dead end with unrestricted use.

      • backprop says:

        My eight year old son would not be allowed to smoke marijuana.

        If you’re not purposely being obtuse, then I will clarify what I hoped was obvious: marijuana would be completely legal for adults.

        • Mark-AL says:

          ……….but you didn’t state the reasons why you wouldn’t allow your 8 year old to smoke it. If, as suggested above, it’s not harmful, or addictive, or if it doesn’t put him on a path to stronger drug use, or if it doesn’t affect his judgement, what’s the harm?

          Actually, my question was not intended to be obtuse. If use of the drug is as completely innocuous as is being suggested here today, what’s the big deal? Why not give the kid another opportunity to expand his horizons, to enjoy another dimension of reality? (Hint: the answer is NOT that age limitations are placed on alcohol consumption. We’re talking about marijuana. Alcohol is the subject of a different conversation. Alcohol can make a kid puke, which gets messy. Alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can lead to a slow death; tremors, convulsions and uncontrolled shaking; extreme agitation and anxiety; persistent insomnia; seizures. These are GOOD reasons NOT to give your 8 yr old alcohol.)

          • backprop says:

            I didn’t suggest that marijuana was innocuous, so you’re flailing at a straw man. I do contend that the harm of the war on marijuana is far more damaging than the effects of legalizing it. The war is a complete and utter failure.

            I also wouldn’t let my eight year old drive a tractor, decide when to wake up, or choose all his meals.

            One of the harms of the war, by the way, is that marijuana users are exposed to drug dealers who have every incentive to sell much more powerful and dangerous drugs. That’s quite the opposite of what you imply.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Just because we’re losing the war doesn’t suggest we should give up on the war. Or change the rules just to make life easier for those charged with fighting the war. Should we accept ISIS into our lives just because this administration’s failure to commit to the war is causing us to lose the fight? But we’re not talking here about war. We’re talking about legalizing a drug that is lacking in controlled scientific research, one that adversely affects our cognitive abilities, falsely magnifies our thoughts and aptness, impacts our ability of concentrate, among a myriad of other problems it causes!

            And we’re not talking about tractors or food selection or bedtime in this conversation. We’re talking about marijuana. If it’s so safe, why not let the kid eat a tainted brownie tomorrow night after dinner! It might help him sleep through the night! Or inhale your bong (or whatever it’s called!) No harm there! Eh? (But keep the joint out of sight until after he goes to bed, because it may adversely affect his young lungs!)

            The drug has not been tested in a controlled study! How can you or anyone else cavalierly suggest it be LEGALIZED when you don’t even know if it might grow two more ears on your head in twenty years? Or cause one of your God-given ears to fall off? Sound absurd? Not really. Why? Because it has never undergone controlled scientific testing. Projections about its effect on the body are made by health-care professionals who deal with the manifestations of those effects daily. And their projections explain why those who indulge and are under the influence are not equipped to deal with life’s simplest tasks. Remember the devastating effect thalidomide had on families in the 50s and 60s–another drug prescribed before it was thoroughly studied? Many bitch about the FDA, but we might all have three arms and four feet if they weren’t around.

            Oh, and by the way, I started driving a tractor when I was seven. 30 years ago! I kept the sod on the sod farm cut short to help develop strong, deep roots. But as kids we weren’t served weed brownies, allowed to sniff from a bong or light up a joint in front of the fireplace at night! Nor did we watch our parents so indulge. Guess I missed out on a lot of things.

          • backprop says:

            “Controlled study?” “Grow two more ears on your head?” “Cause one of your ears to fall off?” “Three arms and four feet?” You sound really paranoid. I do not say that in jest. It sounds like there is literally something wrong with you.

            Marijuana wasn’t put on Schedule I until 1970. Its effects are not unknown. This is not a new substance.

            Obviously it’s your choice to post as much as you want, but you’re really tilting at windmills here.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Photos of documented and extreme body deformities resulting from the widespread use of Thalidomide and Zofran are all over the internet, backprop! One shows a baby born with two deformed feet. On one foot: three big toes and 4 smaller toes; on the other foot, only 6 smaller toes–no big toe. Neither drug was thoroughly tested prior to release. More extreme deformities can be found if you need more proof about the dangers of using an unapproved drug,

            Two more ears? An ear referred to in past tense? Three arms and four feet? How can you be sure these extreme deformities might not result from widespread use of marijuana–without controlled FDA testing. No, I’m not paranoid. And I’m not saying that “in jest” either. I’m saying–but you don’t appear to want to hear it–that it would be irresponsible to legalize use of marijuana if the FDA has no conclusive, controlled, documented proof that it is safe to use. My state of mind has nothing to do with this conversation, other than providing you another attempt to ignore the issue of FDA testing. Here’s question for you to answer privately: Would you kick yourself if your newborn child were born deformed–only to learn that your use of marijuana even MIGHT have caused it? Big price to pay for a cheap high! (Have you learned something intuitively that the FDA has not learned empirically?

            Oh, and one more thing: you still haven’t written why you appear to consider use of marijuana “safe”–but maybe not safe enough to spice up your kid’s brownies with it.

          • backprop says:

            Read the prior post, first sentence, nitwit.

            There is no doubt something extremely wrong with you.

          • Mark-AL says:

            There you go again! Resorting to name calling rather than answering the legitimate question I posed to you.
            Am I cautious? Yes! When my kids visit friends whose parents have backyard pools, I always caution them to check the presence/level of water in the pool–before they decide to jump or dive in. Lots of kids and adults sitting in wheelchairs today probably wish their dad had so advised/reminded them. I live life cautiously and with my eyes open and, like Robert Frost, I wouldn’t think of taking the fence down until I knew for sure why it was put up.

  2. JZ71 says:

    I’m an old hippie from Colorado, so I’ve been around pot since my college days, in the 1970’s. My thoughts – it’s a drug, so, like all drugs, it has both positive and negative impacts on its users (and abusers). And, on the spectrum of recreational drugs, it lands on the benign end of things. I’m also a big believer in personal choice and personal responsibility. While I have no real desire for using it myself, recreationally, I also see little reason why its use should be “prohibited” to the extent that it is, currently. The state (and the country) would be far better off, both financially and socially, if it were legalized, regulated and taxed, instead of the current system of a major underground, untaxed, economy, combined with the collateral incarceration and gang violence costs. As for the argument that it’s a “gateway drug”, any drug can be a gateway, given the right environment (peer pressure, partying, accessibility) and the right physiological response – see alcoholics, nicotine addicts, crack addicts, meth heads, problem gamblers, sex addicts and over-eaters. Finally, kids getting access to it – kids can get pretty much anything they want. If you believe that prohibition will limit access, you’re living in a fantasy world – all “prohibition” does is increase costs, reduce tax revnues and introduce more variability in quality (both good and bad)!

    • Mark-AL says:

      I didn’t smoke it in college because I couldn’t afford it and had never even smelled it before leaving for college. But since college, I’ve been around crowds filled with marijuana smoke, but I’ve never eaten, vapor-inhaled or smoked a joint. I personally have nothing against it or against its use, provided my life isn’t directly or indirectly impacted by it. So I’d like to see its status among lawmakers remain the same. Those who use it claim that it’s readily available on just about any city corner! Fine. Then that should continue to be a user’s primary source. It’s easy and convenient! But the government needs to stay out of legislating use of the drug entirely. And this is especially true until they know for sure that the drug is safe. There are those who think it’s safe, but many of them don’t have MD after their name, so they’re o


Comment on this Article: