More than 4,000 Missourians approved for marijuana cards in program’s first month

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News-Leader) – Other than applying for a medical marijuana card, July 23 was a pretty ordinary day for a Springfield man in his mid-30s. He got up early, went into work and got home by 5 p.m.

He completed the process from his living room in his second-floor, south Springfield apartment. The man invited a News-Leader reporter to observe, on the condition that his name and health condition not be disclosed to the public.

He was among the first 4,500 Missourians to give it a try since the state health department began taking applications June 28. In the month since then, almost all Missouri patient and caregiver applications have been approved, according to data provided to the News-Leader late Monday.

The Springfield man said he lives with one of the health conditions outlined by name under Missouri’s medical marijuana law, Amendment 2. The amendment allows physicians to certify patients for marijuana if they live with one of nine diseases listed: Examples include glaucoma, cancer or epilepsy. Patients with other chronic or terminal conditions can also be certified if a physician thinks they should be treated with cannabis. Amendment 2 does not allow for recreational cannabis use, or for anyone to consume cannabis products in public.

A few days before applying, the man saw a doctor for the paperwork required under Missouri law. The doctor has treated the man for his condition for a few years, and the appointment went smoothly, the man said.

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