Legal Medical Marijuana in Missouri: A Path to Health Equity
Medical marijuana in Missouri may provide a model for greater health equity across the US
Health equity has been in the spotlight since the beginning of the COVID crisis, and with good reason. It’s no secret that certain populations of people have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to getting the medical attention they need.
As of May 3rd, 2021 (the date this article was written), the Missouri legislature was in a battle over expanded medicaid legislation that the people of the state voted for. Yet lawmakers are trying to cut out key features that would make healthcare more accessible for thousands.
As one of the richest countries in the world, we can do better, and cannabis legalization may be one of the key components in helping people find a more affordable way to better health. Even though medical marijuana in Missouri has been highly politically-charged, the Show-Me State has one of the most progressive programs in the country.
It’s easy to qualify for medical marijuana in MO, and the list of conditions includes anything a doctor concludes would benefit from treatment with cannabis. Another thing that differentiates Missouri’s program from others in the US, is the fact that you can grow your own cannabis plants.
Being able to grow your own medicinal plants is one of the biggest steps toward creating a more equitable system of access for all.
But there is just one problem. Imbalance is not just prevalent in healthcare. It’s also rampant in law enforcement. According to a 2020 study by the ACLU, black people were 2.5 times more likely to get arrested for marijuana in Missouri.
This means that the people who may benefit from the Missouri medical marijuana program the most—people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIOPIC)—may be hesitant to take advantage of what it has to offer. And with good reason.
Giving Health Equity a New Image Through Medical Marijuana
The Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM) is one organization recently founded to address health equity and cannabis-related law enforcement issues among people of color. Board member Dr. Jessica Knox says, "It’s time we flip the medical paradigm to one where lifestyle interventions, mind-body therapies, and natural medicines become our first-line treatments instead of our last."
Cannabis is an ideal option for people who have limited access to traditional Western medicine, because it works with the whole body. It treats multiple symptoms and conditions at once, and can be used in a holistic approach to wellness.
The challenge, then, is finding ways to show people who have traditionally been mistreated and injured by an unfair law enforcement system, that they will not be punished for legal, medical cannabis use.
Chair of the ACHEM Board of Directors, Dr. Rachel Knox is quoted on the website, saying, “We know that patients do clinically best when their care is managed by medical providers who look like them, so it's time we increase the ranks of cannabinoid medicine specialists and endocannabinologists within BIPOC communities."
If you’re interested in supporting the mission of health equity in Virginia and all over the US, visit ACHEM’s website and sign up for their newsletter. Healthcare professionals can join the network as members of ACHEM, and anyone can donate and participate in one of the most important conversations for America’s future.
Medical Marijuana in Missouri is an Opportunity for Better Health for All
Medical marijuana is an excellent option for people who want to balance their bodies with a holistic approach. It is legal in Missouri, and getting a medical marijuana card means you have legal access to cannabis products that can help alleviate chronic pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a variety of other conditions and symptoms.
It also means you can grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.
Schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our compassionate doctors today, to get all your questions answered and find the natural relief you deserve.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.