Respect Patient Rights

Imagine living every minute in pain because untreatable, malignant tumors are pressing against your organs. Now imagine there was an investigational treatment that might relieve your pain or extend your life, but a government agency wouldn’t let you because they haven’t finished a complex regulatory process.

This is reality for too many Americans.

Thankfully, that reality is changing. States across the country are pushing back against a federal drug approval system bogged down in red tape. Suffering patients don’t have time to wait for massive bureaucracies. They need access to treatment now. Since 2014, 36 states have joined Missouri in passing Right-to-Try laws and the U.S. congress is expected to act on the federal Right-To-Try bill this year.

But we can do more. In 2016, Florida expanded their Right-to-Try law to include medical cannabis. In New York State, a bill is sitting on the governor’s desk that would give veterans suffering from PTSD the right to use medical marijuana.

And this year, a Missouri House committee overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Republican State Representative Jim Neely, which would have expanded our state’s Right-To-Try law to include medical cannabis. 

Rep. Neely has been a champion for the terminally ill since being elected in 2012. He has a uniquely qualified perspective on this issue because he is a doctor, one of only four serving in the Missouri legislature. Rep. Neely knows firsthand how heartbreaking it is to see the suffering of patients exacerbated by laws that prevent them from getting the care they need.

Let’s support patients’ rights. Let’s strengthen Right-to-Try here in Missouri to include medical cannabis. Let’s embrace any hope that suffering Missourians have to overcome intractable disease.