US awards $3M to fill gaps in medical marijuana research

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. With nine research grants announced Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, the U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the part of the plant that gets people high. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

I recently attended a conference in which implementation of the new Missouri medical marijuana law was discussed. The requirement for what justifies medical use of marijuana is so general that the physician is the ultimate decision-maker of who gets a card allowing the legal purchase of marijuana.

At the same time, these same physicians can have ownership interests in dispensaries or other entities that produce and supply marijuana. While I have great respect and appreciation for physicians, they are still human, still fallible.

Soon, Missourians who want to use marijuana recreationally will know which doctors they can fool with an unlikely or false symptom in order to get a card. And soon these people will be driving on our roads, taking care of our kids, and operating heavy equipment. We Missourians voted and approved the medical use of marijuana. The way it is being implemented, we will soon be a recreational marijuana state in practice.

Steve Bowman • Ballwin