KC NORML’s patient parental rights bill awaits action
NORML KC has been working hard to make sure that parental protections are in place for certified medical marijuana patients in Missouri, writing language for HB 2715, a bill now awaiting assignment in the Missouri House of Representatives.
This bill “will protect the rights of medical marijuana patients as parents from arbitrary actions by the state of Missouri and its courts based on medical marijuana patient status,” Dan Viets stated in a NORML press release on February 28, 2020.
“Once Amendment 2 passed in November 2018, our organization knew that we still had to ensure patients were protected,” Executive Director of NORML KC, Jamie Kacz, said. “We knew that while medical marijuana would be legal under Amendment 2, now Article XIV, it would take time and effort to ensure that all other state agencies would have to make some adjustments.”
A concern for many qualifying patients is how becoming certified could impact their parental rights.
“We started researching and found that other states have had issues with children being removed from homes of medical marijuana patients and issues in family court,” Kacz said. “We learned that in other states, the use of medical marijuana by parents is often a determining factor when state authorities consider removing a child from a home, and when determining child custody. We wanted to prevent this from being an issue because medical marijuana patients should not have to choose between their medicine and their children.”
Kacz has first-hand experience with these types of issues and is working hard to ensure other parents don’t face unfair scrutiny.
“Personally, this has been a passion of mine,” Kacz said. “I know the hardships of navigating family court, as I had my ex try to use my marijuana advocacy as an excuse to lose my rights as a parent. Thankfully, I did not lose any rights, but it was a difficult and unnecessary process. And I still believe that the judge held my marijuana advocacy against me, even with negative drug tests.”
NORML KC is doing what they can to legally protect patients, but they need your support. “We want to bring awareness because this affects so many hard-working Missouri patients that need protections in place,” Kacz said. “We need as many Missourians from across the state to call and write to their elected officials to support HB 2715. In our divided political culture, this is one of those few nonpartisan issues that unites rather than divides. Both sides of the aisle want to protect Missouri families. This bill will be a big step in doing this.”
Kacz doesn’t plan to stop here.
“We have already started language for further parental protections and student protections for our next legislative session. NORML KC will continue to fight for patient rights.”
Kacz and NORML KC were recognized both in Greenway Magazine’s Advocate Series and by Greenway reader’s as the state’s best advocacy organization.
Do you want to support this bill?
Find your legislator here, then reach out by calling or emailing to urge them to vote YES on this bill. Feel free to copy and paste the example text below, making it your own in all-caps areas.
Dear Representative NAME,
I am a constituent of your district – I live at ADDRESS. I am a voter and also a supporter of medical marijuana access for all patients. I support HB 2715 to protect the parental rights of medical marijuana patients. I believe this bill is in line with the spirit of the Missouri Constitution and Article XIV, supported by over 2/3 of Missourians.
Marijuana can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including many debilitating conditions. INSERT YOUR PATIENT STORY OR A PATIENT STORY THAT SPEAKS TO YOU HERE, IF YOU WISH.
The Missouri legislature passed Amendment 2 to allow patients safe access to their medicine. I don’t believe parents should have to choose between their medicine and their children.
Please vote yes on HB 2715.
Thanks for your time,