Voters in Missouri approved Amendment 2 on Tuesday, making it the 31st state in the nation to adopt an effective medical marijuana law. The measure was leading 64-36 with 49 percent of precincts reporting when The New York Times called the election.
Effective medical marijuana laws have now been adopted in 31 states, including Missouri, as well as in D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Eighteen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive.
Idaho is now the only state without any form of medical marijuana law.
“Thanks to the unflagging efforts of patients and advocates, Missourians who could benefit from medical marijuana will soon be able to use it without fear of being treated like criminals,” Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement Tuesday. We hope lawmakers will implement the measure efficiently and effectively to ensure qualified patients can gain access to their medicine as soon as possible”
“There is near-universal support in the U.S. for providing seriously ill patients with legal access to medical cannabis. Most voters, regardless of their age, geographic location, or political persuasion, recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and believe it should be available to those who can benefit from it. Now that more than 30 states have enacted comprehensive medical marijuana laws, it is time for Congress to step up and address the issue at the federal level,” Schweich added.
“At this point, medical marijuana may enjoy more public support — and more bipartisan support — than virtually any other policy issue still up for debate,” said MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins Tuesday night. “All Americans should have safe, legal, and reliable access to medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. Patients will be able to exercise that right in Missouri, but there are still many other states where they will continue to suffer. We can also expect more states to pass similar laws through ballot measures and in their legislatures in coming years.
“We hope Congress will do its part to ensure these state laws continue to be respected by our federal government. Or, better yet, they could enact legislation at the federal level to ensure medical cannabis is a legal treatment option for all Americans,” Hawkins concluded.