On Friday, November 18, patient and registered nurse Sheila Dundon filed our medical cannabis initiative with the Secretary of State, marking the beginning of the 2018 campaign to legalize medical cannabis in Missouri. It will be a couple months before the Secretary of State's office prepares summary ballot language and approves our petition for circulation, but we intend to commence signature collection this winter, giving us over 15 months to gather 280,000 signatures.
The main lesson we have learned from the painfully close campaign this year is that with a little more time, we would have won. We collected more than enough signatures in aggregate, but by the time we were informed that one district -- Congressional District 2 -- was lagging behind the others, we had less than two weeks to correct course. We knew it would be close, but we thought we had closed the gap. With a single day more, we would have.
And that's why we are starting now. If we run into unexpected problems, it happens three or six months before our submission date. We will use that time to our advantage, because we can't leave anything to chance.
I know that the end of the last campaign was painful. Every day, I find myself thinking about what would have been if we had submitted the petition a few days earlier; or if we had more notice about the shortage in district two; or if the judge had allowed the signatures on the incorrect county forms to count. Any one of those changes would have been sufficient to make up the shortage.
I doubt I will ever stop thinking about it. But wallowing in the loss will solve precisely nothing. We should use that pain to motivate us to redouble our efforts and show Missouri that this issue isn't going and neither are we.
I hope you feel the same and won't give up the fight. If you are able to help gather signatures, you can sign up as a volunteer here. If you are able to contribute financially, your investment of $10, $25, or $50 today will help get the campaign off the ground, or a monthly recurring contribution of just $5, $10, or $25 will create a sustained investment in victory.
We have a long race ahead of us, but the path is familiar, and if we jump out to a strong start, I am confident we will cross the finish line.
New Approach Missouri
While waiting outside the Greene County courthouse Wednesday morning, little Ayden Markum had a cluster of five seizures. The 3-year-old has intractable epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
Ashley Markum comforted her son, letting him know that she was there. She then pushed his wheelchair in circles to soothe him. Ayden seemed to enjoy the warm breeze hitting his face.
The Markums have traveled twice to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal. There, they were able to purchase cannabis oil, or CBD oil, and gave it to Ayden via his feeding tube.
"He smiled and laughed for the first time. He attempted to hold his head up and attempted to do different things," Ashley recalled. "It was awesome. Everyone was crying."
While being treated with cannabis oil, Ayden's seizures decreased by half, Ashley said. The cannabis oil product they used does not create a high.
The Markums, along with a retired doctor and a medical marijuana advocate, were at the courthouse to deliver a letter to Prosecutor Dan Patterson. The letter expressed disappointment in Patterson for joining a lawsuit to keep the medical cannabis initiative petition off the November ballot.Read more