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New medical marijuana laws pass Missouri House

COLUMBIA, Mo.

— Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana, the latest step in the nation’s loosening laws on the substance.

The Senate passed the measure 51-48 and the House passed it 53-41.

The bill is aimed at helping the millions of Missourians who use marijuana to manage chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, and treat other medical conditions.

The medical use provision is the third step toward legalizing medical marijuana.

Last month, a bill passed the House by a vote of 48-36.

Both chambers passed the bill in May.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Jason Collins, R-St. Louis, and sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley, R of St. Louis.

Collins said the bill will help more people with medical conditions and their caregivers by allowing them to use marijuana for legitimate medical purposes.

The bill now goes to Gov.

Eric Greitens.

Hawley said the medical marijuana legislation will allow Missourians with a condition that is treatable with other medications to get treatment and reduce the use of opioid drugs.

The proposed law would allow Missouri to become the 11th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, following Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

The legislation is not expected to become law until 2021, which would be three years after recreational marijuana is legal.

Collins said the law would help people who need to control their chronic pain and their nausea and that it could reduce their overall health care costs.

Hawleys office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marijuana is now legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C.