KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many Kansas City metro residents cross the state line between Missouri and Kansas multiple times a day. Now that Missouri has voted to legalize medical marijuana, what will those with legal prescriptions need to know when going into Kansas?
"We are a metro area with hundreds of thousands of people crossing the state line, so it is something we will have to address," Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Thursday.
Voters in Missouri spoke loudly at the polls on Tuesday. Medical marijuana will become legal on Dec. 6, and residents must have a prescription to use it.
Under the current law, any Missouri resident possessing medical marijuana could be arrested after crossing into Kansas, where medical marijuana is not legal, according to Howe.
"Technically under the law, yes. The question is how do we handle the situation," Howe said. "The attorney general, the prosecutors and law enforcement will get together to see what is the proper way to respond."
Passage of the new Missouri law could benefit people like Todd Scattini. He served in the U.S. Army for 27 years.
"I would use medical cannabis probably on a daily basis to treat a lot of things that come out of service to the nation. Chronic pain is certainly one of them," Scattini said.
But on the legal side, Howe said a lot still needs to be discussed.
"Are there constraints put in place in the Missouri law to ensure the person has the authority to have the marijuana, but also that they are doing it lawfully and not driving under the influence in the metro area?" Howe said.
The Missouri Department of Health must accept applications for patient IDs by July 6, 2019. The applicant must have a doctor certification less than 30 days old.