An initiative that would put medical marijuana on the ballot in Missouri is currently fighting in courts to try and make the November ballot. The group turned in what should have been more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot – unfortunately, a large portion of them were deemed to be invalid by the Secretary of State. The group who submitted the petitions are challenging this, claiming that a number of the signatures deemed invalid were not and should have been counted towards their qualification for the ballot.
Now, lawyers are stepping in with a claim which, if the court system agrees, would prevent the initiative from making the ballot at all, now or in the future. Their argument is that because state laws must comply with federal ones, this ballot initiative is unconstitutional and should not be allowed to go before voters. What it comes down to is them trying to turn the court’s eye from one issue – which could have come out in favor of the campaign with some luck – to another issue which would prevent the measure at all.
“Even if they had, by everyone’s agreement, more than adequate numbers of signatures, our position is it still cannot be put on the ballot because, according to Missouri’s constitution, the supremacy clause says that federal law overrides state law, and prosecutors specifically take an oath that we will uphold and not violate both of those constitutions,” Dwight Scroggins said.
Instead, he proposes that if people want to bring medical marijuana into legality then they should go the proper route and follow the FDA process. He is leaving out the fact that it is currently almost impossible to research marijuana – whether it be the whole plant or only one compound – and talking about it as though it were a simple process to follow. If it were that easy, wouldn’t someone have been successful by now? Wouldn’t we already have medical marijuana based medicines available by prescription if it were that simple?
“All medicines go through an FDA process,” Scroggins said. “If somebody out there believes that there is some medicinal use for some by-product or some part of marijuana, great, go through the FDA process. Do all of the research and trials that are needed to be done to prove that and the FDA will approve that medical use. That’s absolutely not out there.”
Not only does he suggest that putting cannabis through the FDA process would be a relatively easy thing to do, but he also suggests that there isn’t already proof that medical marijuana works by saying “If somebody out there believes…”. It’s unfortunate to see Missouri have to fight for their signatures as well as seeing people so stuck in a prohibitionist’s frame of mind – maybe in time they will learn to accept that cannabis is medicinal and that not everything the federal government does works.