Petitions filed to allow medical marijuana use in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Backers of medical marijuana are taking steps to put proposals that would allow the drug's medical use to a statewide vote in Missouri.

The group New Approach Missouri filed petitions Thursday to amend the state constitution to allow doctors to recommend the drug to patients with certain illnesses.

Medical conditions that would qualify include cancer, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the initiatives would give physicians the option to recommend pot to patients with any other chronic, debilitating condition if they deem it necessary.

Use of marijuana in public or while driving still would be barred under the proposed amendments.

The petitions must first be approved by the secretary of state. Supporters then need to gather enough signatures for the measures to be put on the ballot in 2016.

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