Advocacy and Policy Change

Every year the Northland Coalition adopts legislative priorities.  Please contact Vicky Ward for additional talking points or information concerning the Northland Coalition’s position on the following priorities. or 816-877-0411

Our 2018 State Legislative Priorities

Top Two Priorities:

Block attempts to legalize non-FDA approved medical or recreational marijuana

  • Since legalization of marijuana in Colorado, youth marijuana use increased 12%, ranking #1 in the U.S.
  • Frequent marijuana smokers tend to have deficits in memory, concentration, and overall IQ.
  • Teens under age 17 who use marijuana every day are 60% less likely to graduate high school. Teen marijuana users are 18 times more likely to become dependent on the drug, seven times more likely to attempt suicide, and eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.
  • Marijuana is a significant causal factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths.
  • No major medical association endorses marijuana for medicinal purposes because:
  • Medications are tested and regulated through FDA, not voted on by the public;
  • Marijuana is a harmful, addictive drug, and crude marijuana is not medicine; and
  • Marijuana can attack the immune system and make sick people even more ill.


Establish a unified, comprehensive Narcotics Control Monitoring System

  • Missouri is the only state that does not have a monitoring system to collect data from pharmacies to prevent prescription drug misuse and overdoses. This system would identify emerging prescription diversion and abuse trends, and identify areas where prevention and intervention are needed.
  • Misuse of prescription drugs, by MO 6-12th graders, has more than doubled in the past 4 years (3.7% in 2014 to 7.6% in 2018—Missouri Student Survey).
  • Every day, 50 Americans die from prescription painkiller overdoses.
  • The need for a narcotics monitoring system has led many counties and municipalities to pass local ordinances to provide this system. However, without a statewide system, many MO residents and healthcare professionals are deprived of the benefits of a comprehensive monitoring system.

Also on our radar:

Local and state efforts to increase the age of tobacco/nicotine sales to minors from 18 to 21

  • Nicotine, like alcohol and other addictive substances, increase the chance that youth will become addicted. This is the primary reason that all states have now increased the age of alcohol to 21.
  • As of May 2018, 27 municipalities in the greater K.C. area have increased the age of sales of tobacco products from 18 to 21, including, Kansas City, Liberty, Excelsior Springs, Gladstone and Parkville.
  • A March 2015 Institute of Medicine study estimates that Tobacco 21 would reduce the initiation of smoking among 15-17 year olds by 25%.
  • 7% of MO’s 6-12th graders used tobacco in past 30 days (2018 Missouri Student Survey).


Local and state efforts to regulate the marketing of electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices in the same way tobacco products are regulated

  • 3% of MO’s 6th-12th graders used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days (2018 Missouri Student Survey).
  • Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes are available in fruit and candy flavors, and advertised directly to youth. Seven in ten teens are exposed to e-cigarette advertising.
  • In the Northland, youth use of e-cigarettes is more than double that of marijuana use (2018 MSS).


Click here to download the Northland Coalition’s 2018 Legislative Priorities



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