By: Cecil King
Thousands Of Missourians In Need Of Medical Cannabis
Missourians who flocked to voting booths throughout the state on November 8 didn’t have the opportunity to vote for a medical cannabis initiative in the Show-Me state.
New Approach Missouri (NAM), the political action campaign that launched the state’s only medical cannabis initiative, came up 23 signatures under the required amount to make the November 8th ballot.
Cannabis activist Karin Chester was one of the dedicated volunteers who worked on the campaign. In the last few weeks leading up to a final court decision, whether to allow thousands of invalidated voter petitions, Chester was part of a team of volunteers who worked tirelessly 18 to 20 hour days. They were combing through stacks of voter petitions initially thrown out by election officials that were actually valid.
The Cole County court decision against NAM stopped the medical cannabis initiative in its tracks. It was a disappointing blow for Missouri cannabis activists, but gave Chester a new mission.
Chester started the Missouri Patient Project. In her words, she wants to “document and tell the stories of a just a few of the potentially thousands of people in the state of Missouri that have medical conditions which can be effectively treated and sometimes cured with Medical Cannabis, even when pharmaceutical treatment has failed.”
Cannabis activists working on the failed medical cannabis initiative found out that many Missourians do not know how cannabis can help treat various diseases. Most Missourians are completely unaware of how people use cannabis as medicine.
“Cannabis is used to alleviate the symptoms of different diseases and disorders,” offers Chester, “but in Missouri, use is limited to CBD oil derived from industrial hemp and only for those diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.”
Chester wants to “photographically and biographically document and record the lives and stories of current and potential patients,” who may be helped by medical cannabis.
Using the medium of photography, Chester will use artistic black and white photos to record these patients. She hopes to create awareness among the general public and medical community with an exhibit of her photographs and planned events around the Show-Me state.
Chester is accepting donations for the Missouri Patient Project and will use any funds generated beyond the cost of the project to benefit Missouri medical cannabis legalization efforts.
Chester is passionate about this cause. “For me, legalization is about people who need safe effective medicine; people who have diseases and disorders that are being ineffectively treated with pharmaceuticals known to be dangerous, addictive, and sometimes deadly,” exclaims Chester.