Doctors discuss future of medical marijuana in Missouri

Missouri’s new medical marijuana law has officially taken effect, meaning doctors can now legally discuss medical marijuana with patients without the risk of losing their license, but this doesn’t mean people will be able to legally smoke marijuana right away.

Retired cardiologist, Paul Callicoat keeps himself busy, advocating medical marijuana with hopes of growing it in the near future with his son.

“Amendment 2 was written such that it provides a good platform to get into the business of medical marijuana, so yeah, we will be in the medical marijuana business,” Callicoat stated.

While Callicoat is no longer in a doctor’s office, he sees the value of marijuana as a form of treatment.

“THC. 20 times more effective in reducing pain than aspirin,” said Callicoat.

Some doctors are skeptical though, saying not enough research is available to properly advise patients on medical marijuana treatment.

“There’s no studies available that help doctors to guide us to tell us what is going to best for this patient or that patient,” explained Dr. Michael Knapp of Michael Knapp, D.O. Family Medicine.

Dr. Knapp worries that legislation is moving faster than research can support.

“The laws that we are seeing being put through right now are being rushed through so that certain groups of people can treat catastrophic diseases, but there’s always a loophole that’s being put in those so that people that don’t really need that drug can get to their physician and try and demand their disease be treated with that as well.”

Even so, Callicoat believes education and awareness will lead to more people accepting marijuana as an effective treatment.

“The belief of people that we’re not ready for medical marijuana, I think that is misfounded. I think we are. And I think you’re going to be surprised at the number of doctors that wanna get on board with medical marijuana, when they see the benefits and they see that they can use this for pain control rather than opioids,” said Callicoat.

No later than June 4th, the state health department needs to make applications available so patients have documentation to get signed by a doctor.
30 days after that, so no later than July 4th, the state health department must begin accepting applications.
From there, they have 30 days to either issue a patient card or reject a patient’s application.

During the 30 day time period when a patient is waiting for their application to be granted approval, they cannot be arrested for marijuana possession, if they can prove that they’ve properly applied and are waiting on an answer.