CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A clinic in Cape Girardeau is now helping qualifying patients sign up for a medical marijuana cards.
Missouri Green Doctors, a company based in St. Louis, is accepting appointments every Thursday at their new location on the sixth floor of the Marquette Tower.
The private clinic’s sole focus is to help people suffering from cancer, chronic pain and other qualifying conditions get their medical marijuana certification.
Timexx Seabaugh of Cape Girardeau is one of many Missouri voters who approved the constitutional amendment to legalize the drug medicinally.
“I was a bit surprised that it went as quickly as it did and that the laws were so inclusive,” Seabaugh said. “I’m really glad to see that Missouri is moving ahead and being very progressive, and they seem to be rolling it out nicely.”
Seabaugh is one of the first patients from Cape Girardeau to get his medical marijuana card and is glad Missouri Green Doctors now has a clinic in town to help people do the same.
“It does keep you from having to go somewhere else and taking a long trip," Seabaugh said. "It’s good for us to have that hear. They’re very easy to work with. The process is very easy.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said more than 4,000 application have already been approved.
“The word is spreading, people are coming in and the numbers are constantly growing," said Pascal Beauboeuf, a spokesman for Missouri Green Doctors.
Beauboeuf said the clinic has qualified doctors who take the certifications seriously and require proof of your medical history and that you live in the state.
“We really make sure that everything is covered," Beauboeuf said. "We literally go through the stuff with a fine tooth comb and make sure that you are somebody that needs certification for medical marijuana.”
Seabaugh sees medical marijuana as a great alternative treatment option to pharmaceutical drugs.
“I was never one who like taking medication or pills. I didn’t like the way that they make you feel like a lab rate sometimes. ‘We think you have this, try this medicine,’” Seabaugh said. “With medical marijuana it’s something you can do on your own. You can regulate for yourself in a way.”
Seabaugh said having a medical marijuana card eases a common fear.
“The problem that most people have had with it is the legal ramifications of prosecution," Seabaugh said. "Once you have this new card that take that off of that which alleviates a lot of stress right there.”
The two major hospitals in Cape Girardeau are also taking stances on the certifying patients to use cannabis.
Dr. Thomas S. Diemer the Chief Medical Officer for Saint Francis Healthcare System said they are not participating because the drug is still illegal under federal law.
“Also, the FDA has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication. Many questions remain about the use of marijuana as a medication.,” Deimer said. “Saint Francis Healthcare System is therefore developing a policy in which Saint Francis Medical Partner Physicians will decline to participate at this time in the medical marijuana Physician Certification process.”
Across town SoutheastHEALTH is exploring the idea of recommending medical marijuana to it’s patients.
“We are in the initial stages of engagement with the medical staff and exploration of the regulatory and prescriber requirements and its legal impact of those decisions,” said Interim Chief Medical Officer, Gabe Soto, MD, PhD.
For more information of Missouri Green Doctors visit their website or call 314-802-1551.