A message to the university community about Amendment 3

electionWhen you cast a Missouri ballot on Election Day this Tuesday, Nov. 8, you will be asked to consider a ballot initiative — Amendment 3 — that relates to an increase in our state’s tobacco tax. Though simple on its face, Amendment 3 raises very serious concerns, particularly for world-leading research institutions like ours.

 Washington University strongly supports physicians and scientists as they pursue research into therapies and cures for life-threatening diseases. Therefore, the university opposes Amendment 3 because it contains language that conflicts with state constitutional protections for stem cell research and threatens progress to fight disease.

It is unfortunate that this anti-research language was added to a ballot initiative supporting early childhood education. Washington University joins community partners in opposing any efforts that interfere with research and have negative consequences on the future health of our citizens.

Numerous other research, education, civic and health-care organizations oppose Amendment 3, such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Missouri Cures, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the Missouri Biotechnology Association and BioSTL.