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Opinion: Please Vote YES on Amendment 2, NO on Amendment 3

October 3, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy No Comments
The fist legal marijuana dispensary I visited in Denver, September 2014. Medical marijuana was kept in a different section from recreational all over the state.

In less than five weeks Missouri voters will decide if the state will become the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana, Sunday’s non-scientific poll was on this upcoming vote. Here are the results:

Q: Missouri voters will see 3 issues to legalize medical marijuana on the November ballot. Which of the 3, if any, will you vote for?

  • Amendment 2, supported by a group called New Approach Missouri: 3 [15.79%]
  • Amendment 3, supported by Springfield physician-attorney Brad Bradshaw: 1 [5.26%]
  • Proposition C, supported by a group called Missourians for Patient Care: 0 [0%]
  • Will vote NO on all three: 3 [15.79%]
  • Will vote YES on all three: 7 [36.84%]
  • Will vote YES on 2 & 3, no on C: 1 [5.26%]
  • Will vote YES on 2 & C, no on 3: 1 [5.26%]
  • Will vote YES on 3 & C, no on 2: 0 [0%]
  • I’m not a Missouri voter: 1 [5.26%]
  • Unsure at this time: 2 [10.53%]

The number of votes was less than most weeks, but the three tied.  Here’s more on the three:

The New Approach measure is a constitutional amendment that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with one of ten specified medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD and Parkinson’s. The measure would impose a four percent sales tax, and some of that revenue would be earmarked for veteran’s programs. The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services would regulate sales, cultivation and licensing.

New Approach is the only ballot initiate that would permit patients to grow their own weed, but the plants would have to be grown in facility registered with the state. Patients would also have to pay a $100 license fee.

According to estimates by the Secretary of State’s office, New Approach’s proposal would cost the state $7 million to operate annually, while generating $18 million in tax revenue for the state and $6 million for local governments.

The second constitutional amendment to make the ballot is known as the Bradshaw Amendment, named for the Springfield attorney and physician, Brad Bradshaw, who largely self-funded the measure.

The Bradshaw Amendment is, in a word, ambitious: it would create a “state research institute” and establish a nine-person research board led by Bradshaw himself. According to the petition, the institute would work on “developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions.” That board could also determine what diseases would benefit from medical marijuana treatment.

Among the three initiatives, the Bradshaw Amendment would impose the highest tax: fifteen percent. Some of that tax revenue would fund health and care services for veterans. The Secretary of State’s Office estimates that the measure would cost the state $500,000 annually and would generate revenue off taxes and fees, to the tune of $66 million.

It’s worth noting that both the Bradshaw Amendment and New Approach’s proposal are constitutional amendments, meaning they could only be amended later by an additional vote of the people. Not so with the Missourians For Patient Care Act, a statutory amendment that, if passed, would essentially create a new law — meaning that it could potentially be altered by legislators at a later date. (Riverfront Times)

I’m the one who voted in the poll “Will vote YES on 2 & C, no on 3”. I prefer a constitutional amendment to a law that can be easily changed by conservative legislators. Amendment 2 is a well-written measure with patients in mind. A 4% tax on medicine isn’t bad. Amendment 3, on the other hand, is bad — should not be passed. I’ll let another Springfield doctor explain:

In a letter to the editor on Sept. 2, Springfield personal injury attorney Brad Bradshaw purported to “set the record straight” on the medical marijuana ballot initiatives Missourians will vote on in November. The only thing that came through clearly was his self-servedness. Mr. Bradshaw has invested millions of his own money into his own effort that serves namely one person: himself. No doubt he is hoping to reap a handsome return on his investment.

His attacks are meant to disguise his impractical proposal. I want to make clear that Amendment 3 will not lead to a cure in cancer, as Mr. Bradshaw disingenuously tries to make us believe. In fact, its estimated $66 million in revenue is a trivial drop in the bucket compared to our modern-day investments in cancer research and treatment. His proposed “cancer institute” will be funded by your tax dollars but without your or the rest of the public’s well-being in mind. That is because how the money is spent is decided by Mr. Bradshaw and the board members he directly appoints. It will not be subject to citizen review. It will not be subject to MOMA Board certification. It will not result in further investments to improve the quality of life for cancer patients or make headway on future cures. (Brad Bradshaw misleads on medical marijuana)

Follow the money — Bradshaw filed lawsuits to remove the other two measures, later tossed out by a judge, Amendment 3 would give Bradshaw a huge slush fund. Please vote YES on Amendment 2 & Proposition C, vote NO on Amendment 3 — please don’t vote yes on all three.

Still undecided? Check out the New Approach Missouri website.

— Steve Patterson

 

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