A recent initiative, Legal Missouri 2022 has seen an overwhelming response of support from citizens across the state of the same name. In an aim to put the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana on November’s voting ballot, Legal Missouri 2022 has been campaigning feverishly for signatures in support of the measure.
And support they have received. While qualification for the November ballot requires a minimum of 170,000 signatures, Legal Missouri 2022 received, and later submitted, more than 385,000 signatures. The whopping display of support has not gone unnoticed both in the cannabis community and the community at large.
In a press release, Legal Missouri 2022’s campaign manager, John Payne, was overjoyed with the overwhelmingly positive response. “This widespread and enthusiastic show of support from the people of Missouri exceeds our expectations”, said Payne.
The proposed change would make it legal for Missourians over the age of 21 to possess, purchase, consume and grow marijuana on a recreational basis. While the state had previously legalized the use of medicinal marijuana back in 2018, the recreational marijuana debate has yet to be settled at the state level.
Potential For Profit
Further, the Legal Missouri 2022 ballot measure would enable municipalities to add up to an additional 3% on marijuana tax rates, contributing to economic growth at the local level.
The 6% tax rate is impressively low when compared with neighboring Illinois’ 10% to 25% counterparts. The stark contrast would likely be enough to motivate Illinoisians to make the short trip to Missouri and invest in a market with tax rates that are more palatable.
History In The Making
The aforementioned revenue would subsequently be used for historically grillinoiound-breaking purposes. If the ballot measure were to be voted into effect, Missouri would become the first American state to have voters initiate the immediate granting of amnesty for those who have been previously convicted of recreational marijuana-related crimes.
As of 2020, a shocking 40,000 Americans were incarcerated for nonviolent, marijuana-related offenses, which is problematic on a number of fronts.
Firstly, this is a fundamental social injustice considering that the overwhelming majority of these convictions were made when marijuana consumption was far more criminalized and attitudes towards the industry were astronomically less accepted.
Secondly, keeping these men and women incarcerated is not a smart economic decision. According to John Howard, the average annual cost per prisoner is estimated at $115,000. Instead of senselessly dumping valuable taxpayer dollars into the state’s prison system, Missouri would actively invest recreational cannabis tax profits into the expungement and rehabilitation of previously incarcerated individuals on Cannabis-related charges.
Up For Review
While the response to the initiative has been staggering, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office must still validate all the 375,000 signatures before approving them and officially putting the measure on the ballot.
“We look forward to the timely review and certification of our petition by the Secretary of State’s Office as we continue to educate and inform voters in the coming weeks and months”, continued Mr. Payne.
More than twice the required amount of signatures on Legal Missouri 2022’s petition has left citizens feeling hopeful for the future of the recreational cannabis industry. If the measure is put on the November ballot and ultimately voted in, it will lead to wild economic growth, and necessary social change.
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