Missouri officials announced last Tuesday an initiative to legalize marijuana will appear on the state’s November ballot. While early reporting from county officials had signaled the campaign was coming up short on signatures in key congressional districts, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) has now certified that activists indeed turned in enough valid petitions to place the cannabis reform measure before voters.
The initiative would allow adults over 21 years old to grow, possess, and use marijuana for personal use. It would also establish a regulatory system for retail sales.
Missouri voters are ready to legalize marijuana for adult use.
A strong majority of Missouri voters support legalizing marijuana for adult use, including a plurality of Republicans, according to a recent poll. The survey also found this is the first time a majority of Missouri adults have supported legalization since the poll began asking the question in 2014.
Legal Missouri 2022’s initiative is backed by the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association as well as the ACLU of Missouri, St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County chapters of the NAACP, all six active chapters of Missouri NORML, and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
“Our statewide coalition of activists, business owners, medical marijuana patients and criminal justice reform advocates has worked tirelessly to reach this point, and deserves all the credit,” John Payne, Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager said in a press release. “Our campaign volunteers collected 100,000 signatures, on top of paid signature collection. That outpouring of grassroots support among Missourians who want to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis made all the difference.
The Advocates And Opponents Of The Bill
As the ballot initiative moves forward, some advocates and stakeholders have raised concerns about the ballot proposal and pushed for legislative reform instead.
Rep. Ron Hicks (R) introduced a legalization bill that would have moved through the committee process this year, but leadership was unwilling to advance it before the session adjourned.
Another Republican lawmaker in the state, Rep. Jason Chipman (R), filed a joint resolution this session that would let voters require additional oversight over how medical cannabis tax revenue is distributed to veterans.
Opponents of the measure have argued the lack of specific language in the initiative prohibiting a licensing cap means the market that emerges will not be competitive. Some have also raised concerns about the measure’s provisions to give medical cannabis dispensaries a head start in serving the adult-use market.
Legal Missouri 2022 has been completely funded and is currently being pushed by companies in the current market including existing medical marijuana companies. It would strengthen their positions tremendously if it passes because it would automatically grant them adult use licenses and create a long waiting period and lottery system for any new licenses.
Big companies in the current market are pushing for a ballot initiative that would strengthen their positions tremendously. The Legal Missouri 2022 initiative has been completely funded (around 7 million) and is being pushed by the companies in the current market here. It would automatically grant them adult use licenses and create a long waiting period and lottery system for any new licenses, killing small businesses before they even had the chance to grow.
Legal recreational marijuana will be on the Missouri State ballot come November, and it’s looking like there’s a good chance that it will pass. Over 400,000 signatures got it on the ballot, so there is quite a bit of support, but the obvious bias towards big business is making supporters hesitant. This is not grassroots; it’s a last-ditch effort by companies who are seeing their profits dip because of legalization, and who want to make sure that only those currently in power continue to have power.
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