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Commissioners Discuss Concerns With Medical Marijuana Law

How the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri may affect the county led to some discussion at the County Commission meeting last Thursday.

The commissioners, along with Sheriff Gary Stolzer and health department administrator Sandra Bell, have been concerned over the vagueness of the November 2018 Amendment 2, also called “The New Approach” measure, and its implications.

Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s, was the only one of three measures to pass.

“There are so many loopholes,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said, adding that he wanted to discuss the situation with new District 116 State Representative Dale Wright.

The possibility of county employees being approved by doctors to use pot on the job has county officials worried about both liability and workers’ rights issues.

“If one of our guys is driving a truck with 16 tons of rock on it on Highway 32 and he just had a joint, are we liable [for any accidents he might cause]?” Nelson asked. “If we don’t hire him, can we be sued?”

Similarly, Nelson said, if a deputy is in hot pursuit of a suspect and is a little “fuzzy” after using medical marijuana and has to use his gun, is the county liable? Another scenario was a water park or community center lifeguard being under the legal influence of medical marijuana.

See complete story in the January 23 edition of the Herald.

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