One Republican’s controversial amendment has caused turbulence for another lawmaker’s plan to fully legalize marijuana in Missouri.
Rep. Nick Schroer, of St. Charles County, amended the so-called Cannabis Freedom Act on Thursday to exclude transgender women from access to no-interest loans for women- and minority-owned cannabis businesses, drawing bipartisan scorn.
Schroer then voted “no” on the underlying legislation to legalize marijuana in Missouri, but the plan still passed the House Public Safety Committee on a 5-4 vote, with the committee’s three Democrats helping rescue it.
“He literally either was showboating and needed his sound bites in the committee or he was deliberately trying to kill that piece of legislation,” Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Defiance, the bill’s sponsor, said Thursday.
The amendment may not ultimately kill the bill, and Schroer said that was not his intent.
“I’m hopeful we will strip that language off on the floor,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, one of the co-sponsors. “It is frustrating that one member will take a bipartisan-supported bill and use it simply for campaign fodder.”
Schroer, who is running for a state Senate seat, expressed concern about the constitutionality of the loan program altogether. He said he would like the entire provision stripped from the bill. [Read more at St. Louis Post-Dispatch]