Medical Marijuana push gets secret donations in Missouri

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on July 22, 2018.

Secret donations pour in for medical marijuana push in Missouri. Despite the origins of most of the haul being kept secret, an organization which is backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives has continued to bring in huge contributions.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee raised $530,000 in monetary contributions between April and July.

Out of $530,000, about $505,000 was funneled from a nonprofit corporation with the same name. But, it does not require revealing its donors.

This apart, the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee accepted more than $16,000 in in-kind contributions from the nonprofit that quarter.

The First Rule, a firm listing the same address as the nonprofit and campaign committee, also donated an additional $36,800 in-kind donation.

“We needed to raise money so have a social welfare organization that supports the ballot committee,” said Travis Brown, one of the main backers of the campaign effort.

However, Brown declined to comment whether he thought the group’s activities violated the state law.

The newspaper reported in February that the group believes the secrecy is necessary because donors might be hesitant to contribute to a cause not recognized by the federal government.

“We set it up that way because most people who are supporters of it don’t want to be known,” said Mark Habbas, a lobbyist on the campaign. “They just want to keep their donations private.”

If the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee’s proposal accepted, it would change state rules to legalize marijuana for medical use in helping to treat patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, terminal illness and intractable migraines.

Apart from the committee, two more groups conducted a signature campaign to place medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot.

The secretary of state’s office is slated to certify the signatures by mid-August and announce which groups gathered enough to make ballot to be held in November.

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