Missouri voters will decide this year whether to approve adult-use marijuana legalization in the Show Me State, reports 40/29 News.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office on Tuesday announced the campaign gathered enough voter signatures to qualify, reports KSTP.
Legal Missouri 2022, backing the measure, said they gathered more than 214,000 verified signatures across all eight congressional districts. That’s more than the 184,720 minimum needed to make the ballot, reports the Springfield News-Leader.
“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,” said campaign manager John Payne.
”Missourians Are More Than Ready”
Efforts to legalize adult-use Cannabis have failed to pass in the GOP-controlled Missouri Legislature. So now, advocates are turning to the voters themselves.
If voters approve the constitutional amendment on marijuana, adults 21 and older could buy and grow weed for personal consumption as early as this year.
“We look forward to engaging with voters across the state in the coming weeks and months,” said LegalMo22 campaign manager John Payne. “Missourians are more than ready to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana.”
One provision in the Missouri legalization measure would erase past marijuana-related convictions for nonviolent offenders and those whose conviction didn’t include selling to minors or driving while high.
Local NAACP chapters, the ACLU of Missouri, criminal defense lawyers and other civil rights advocacy groups endorsed that automatic expungement provision. And it could also broaden support for the initiative among Republican criminal justice advocates. Seven other states with legal adult-use Cannabis have also adopted automatic expungement policies.
The Missouri measure taxes Cannabis sales at 6%. The tax would yield an estimated $46 million during the first full year the amendment is in effect, and $70 million the following year. Revenues are earmarked for veterans’ homes, drug treatment programs and public defenders.
Missouri Cities Can Tax, Or They Can Ban
Cities and other municipalities could enact local sales taxes on adult-use Cannabis, up to 3%. They could also go the other route, and enact local bans on non-medical marijuana sales by a public vote.
The 39-page ballot measure is on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
Missouri voters approved medical marijuana use back in 2018. Efforts to allow adult marijuana use have failed to pass Missouri’s Republican-controlled Legislature for years.
Adult-use marijuana is already legal in 19 states. Legalization proposals are also on the ballot this fall in South Dakota and Maryland. Supporters are also trying to get legalization measures on the ballots in Arkansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma.